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Synod of Cardinals to “rip up” current constitution on Church governance? September 30, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disconcerting, episcopate, General Catholic, persecution, secularism, self-serving, the return.

As I have related in several recent blog posts, we would really start to know what this Pope plans to achieve next month (October), as the Synod of Cardinals begins their work of – apparently, in the words of their own leader – radical demolition on the current model of authority in the Churh.  Now, that current model is quite a bit different from what governed the Church for centuries from Trent to VII, but I think what we’re looking at here is an unheard of devolution of power from the Vatican and Curia to the “local bishops,” which will mean in actuality, the national episcopal conferences, entities the world over utterly dominated by progressives.

A Roman Catholic cardinal said Sunday that a group of senior church figures handpicked by the Pope to shake up the Vatican’s murky and autocratic bureaucracy would “rip up and rewrite” the constitution which apportions power at the Holy See.

The eight cardinals, who were appointed by Pope Francis in April, have been briefed to revise the constitution, known as Pastor Bonus, drawn up in 1988 by Pope John Paul, in a bid to give greater voice to bishops around the world. [Look, there are lots of legitimate complaints regarding Pastor Bonus. It has basically made the Secretariat of State a semi-dictator in the Vatican. There is a giant war in the Vatican still ongoing between the immediately former Secretary of State – Bertone, and HIS predecessor, Sodano. Cardinal Sodano, waaaaay past retirement age, still has a huge wing of supporters in the Curia, and it was his supporters, it is thought, that created Vatileaks, contains most of the homosexual mafia, and who basically ran Pope Benedict out of office.  I think some reform is definitely needed.  But read on, I don’t think they’re headed in the right direction]

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the group’s leader, said that at tomorrow’s meeting they were planning to go much further than just changing “this and that”.

“No, that constitution is over,” he said in a television interview. “Now it is something different. We need to write something different,” he added.  [OK, so Pastor Bonus is dead.  What next?]

Gerard O’Connell, a Vatican analyst at the Vatican Insider, said that the proposed rule changes were a “rupture after a century of increasing centralisation”.

“Cardinal Maradiaga is hinting that the Pope is asking the fundamental question: ‘What can be decided in Rome and what at local level? How can the Roman Curia serve bishops instead of being an office of censure and control?’”  [Ummm…….they have been an office of censure and control for very vital reasons. There has been a neo-modernist revolution in the Church, constantly advancing errors and endangering souls! The Pope has the charism of infallibility in certain circumstances.  Bishops do not.  Heresies and apostasy run amok in many dioceses – Rome has been at least something of a bulwark against this over the past two pontificates.  Over the past 35 years, we at least had one pretty orthodox man in Rome whose job it was to limit the damage of the revolution in the Church. That man was Ratzinger. He is gone. The progressives want to insure his like can never dampen their excesses ever again.]

O’Connell cited Japanese bishops as examples of victims of the Vatican’s centralisation. “They must ask advice from Rome on the correct Japanese to use in their liturgies, yet you would think they would be the best judge.”  [Yes, they have screwed a bunch of stuff up. Then again, the Japanese bishops are not without their own problems. The Curia screwed up the revised 2011 English translation of the Novus Ordo, making a vast improvement into a moderate one.  But devolving huge swaths of power to episcopal conferences is not the answer.  Doctrinally, bishops conferences still have no authority whatsoever.  And what if the way this constitution is written not only devolved power to episcopal conferences, but through its language manages to favor progressive interests?]

Over the weekend, Pope Francis gave another clear indication that he sees the Vatican as a hotbed of intrigue and power struggles when he suggested Vatican policemen should crack down on gossip as well as looking out for intruders.

Defining gossip as the devil’s work, “a forbidden language” and “a war waged with the tongue”, he told gendarmes gathered for Mass to tell any gossipers: “Here there can be none of that: walk out of St Anne’s Gate. Go outside and talk there! Here you cannot!” [Is this genuine concern over the state of souls, or annoyance that some might question the direction of his pontificate?]

Cardinals gathering in Rome before Pope Francis was elected in March complained that Vatican officials had become a self-serving elite indifferent to the needs of dioceses around the world. [Are not the national conferences, and even many bishops, indifferent to the needs of souls for an orthodox faith?  This is the pot calling the kettle black.]

Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga said his group had received suggestions on Vatican reform from around the world, including 80 pages of suggestions from Latin America. The convergence on a few main themes suggested God’s will was at work, he said. “You cannot have millions of Catholics in the world suggesting the same unless the Holy Spirit is inspiring.”.  [Well, millions of Catholics around the world think killing babies in the womb is wonderful, should we listen to them on that, too?  The problem with trying to identify the sensus fidei is that it assumes well formed, obedient, orthodox Catholics, not a situation where a modernist revolution has run rampant through the Church.]

My own excitability aside, we really don’t know much, but the rumors which Pope Francis so derides all point in the same direction – a devolution of many powers, perhaps even power to determine Doctrine, from the Curia not to individual bishops, which would be exciting but perhaps manageable, but to the national episcopal conferences, which have demonstrated themselves both heavily biased towards progressive or modernist interests AND almost impervious to outside influence. Yay.

My own surmise is that  even many of Pope Francis’ most staunch defenders may well experience a change of heart as they see what develops.  But, then again, they may not, some people simply cannot bring themselves to criticize even the prudential actions of a reigning pontiff (long dead ones, that’s a different matter).

More and more evidence indicates Pope Francis may have been elected under a quid pro quo arrangement.  The article also states that this new arrangement will get the Italian episcopal conference out from under the Vatican, something especially the progressives in Italy have long wanted.  Non-curial Cardinals from around the world of course want more power, so this arrangement will suit them. The way the election came down so fast, much of this was certainly worked out in advance.  All I can say is, yikes!  This arrangement, if it becomes what I think it will, has the ability to unleash “Vatican III” on the Church without the headache of a formal council.

Thanks to reader RC for the tip.


1. DiscipleoftheDumbOx - September 30, 2013

I am curious about this supposed change of direction or can we call it a potential decentralization of authority? The distributist in me has a tendency to see this as a potentially positive change. I suppose this will depend on a good many factors. Only time will tell, I guess. May God’s will be done regardless.

tantamergo - September 30, 2013

I would like to agree, if the power were not going to the national episcopal conferences. But all signs point to just that occurring. It will be interesting to see how this change is written and constructed, and how it correlates to Vatican I. Progressives have long pretended that Vatican I was unfinished, that after the declaration of papal infallibility, that council intended to then define and “beef up” the role of bishops, to walk back the ultramontanism. That’s actually false, more progressive, if that is the right term, bishops at that time wanted that to happen, but there is almost no chance Blessed Pius IX would have allowed it to occur. The Vatican I he got, is pretty much the Vatican I he wanted.

DiscipleoftheDumbOx - September 30, 2013

Good point. Of course, I am of the opinion that the national episcopal conferences should be dissolved as well, especially the United States established conference.

2. Chris & Wendy McClure - September 30, 2013

But wait! There’s more…

Sent from my iPad


3. Molly - September 30, 2013

I was so glad to see your post to help me interpret this news about the codification of the cardinal council. It is horrifying to consider the USCCB being given more power – they’ve abused what power they already have and don’t deserve more. Our archbishop told a friend that his only agenda is immigration reform, and that priests should NOT preach on the evils of abortion from the pulpit. He also defunded Project Rachel in our archdiocese. And this Archbishop and others like him need more power? They need our prayers, rather. Which is all we can offer him (certainly not our money – that goes to non-diocesan credible Catholic organizations).

tantamergo - September 30, 2013

Molly, may I ask which archbishop that is? It is helpful to know such things, and we often don’t have much visibility as to what goes on in other dioceses.

Molly - September 30, 2013

Archbishop of San Antonio

tantamergo - September 30, 2013

That is significant. Wow.

Molly - September 30, 2013

Significant indeed. Additional info learned recently from another friend, who spoke to the Archbishop’s secretary regarding the chancery’s silence on the recent non-discrimination ordinance here – “you don’t seriously expect the Archbishop to publicly chastise the mayor of San Antonio, do you?”

I know this is basically gossip but I’m just so scandalized to learn of these statements, after trusting diocesan leaders (here and elsewhere) for so long, that I feel that this info must be disseminated beyond the archdiocese. I hope that my sharing here does not invoke similar feelings of scandal in others.

DiscipleoftheDumbOx - September 30, 2013

Why am I not surprised? Where’s that video of Iago in Aladdin? Oh yeah…right here.

DiscipleoftheDumbOx - September 30, 2013

Molly, you bring up something that has really bothered me concerning San Antonio Catholics and my fellow hispanic Catholics, in particular. This is not the first time I have heard about Catholics holding water for their mayor despite his anti-Catholicism. “Oh, but he’s a Catholic, too!” or “He’s helped me find jobs so how dare you question him!” This is ridiculous. The more I hear crap like that, the more I desire Texas independence and further, for her to be broken up into smaller states like what many in Northern California, Colorado and Maryland have desired for their own countries in recent days, weeks and/or months.

Folks, don’t look for hispanic Catholics to renew the faith here in Texas. More than half of the young hispanics favor sodomy, for the love of San Pedro!

Come, Lord Jesus. Come!

4. Janet - September 30, 2013

Disciple, please don’t over-apply the principle. It doesn’t even work in all things economic. Christ set up one authority., and it was highly centralized.

I had the misfortune to attend a mass celebrated by Cardinal Maradiaga while I was passing through New Orleans several years back, and it was an entirely political event in which people neither prayed nor even sat down, but erupted in cheers at cue words, and otherwise groomed themselves or visited. The sermon itself was one long rant about the ‘people of God on the move,’ but I could not find a single spiritual reference. It was in Spanish, so perhaps I missed it, but not the conduct of the concelebrating clergy (clerics were leaning on the walls of the sanctuary, chatting, both before and even during the mass itself–this was in that lovely church across the river from the French quarter, I’m not even sure it’s still there, post-Katrina), and the conduct of the faithful was especially scandalous, in act and in dress. I pray God he will not rise further in the ranks, but Francis loves him.

DiscipleoftheDumbOx - September 30, 2013

His model is, naturally, the best model. Let us return to that, then. Hmmm…I don’t recall a general Roman Empire conference of bishops…perhaps I missed that in my reading of Carroll’s works…

5. Lorra - September 30, 2013

Don’t forget. Francis said that the fruits of Vatican II are “enormous”. He doesn’t think there are any problems. What we see is what they want.

6. RC - September 30, 2013

I’m afraid that we are getting ready to see the “real” fruits of VII. JPII and Benedict seemed more “traditional” because they had one foot in the pre-VII Church, now we have Francis who is a product of the “spirit of VII.” I’m starting to fear that we have not seen all the damage that can be done to the Church, and the last 50 years were just a prelude, I REALLY hope I am wrong. But I think we might have to wait several, several years to see any real improvement, and who knows what the Church might look like then?
I’m thinking that nothing short of a miracle from God, or the second coming will change the way things are.

7. TG - October 1, 2013

Disciple, you are so right about most Catholic Hispanics. My parents and grandparents would be so shocked to learn that many support homosexual marrying. That’s a shock to me. I won’t go to a Hispanic Catholic Church because they are so “man centered”. That’s terrible what the Archbishop from San Antono is doing. Does anyone know under what archdiocese the Diocese of Austin is under?

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