by David Timbs
Read paper HERE
Abstract: It is becoming more and more obvious that one of the most significant obstacles to the systemic reform of the culture and legal system of the Catholic Church is clericalism. The leadership of the Church has become increasingly more estranged from the prophetic roots of its mission to animate and to serve. As the Church became more institutionalised, its bishops became increasingly socialised into a patriarchal and autocratic mentality and praxis with little transparency and no provision for accountability, the essential safeguards of good governance. Ultimately a massive social, psychological and spiritual chasm was created which lead to dangerous disconnection between bishops and their people.
It is quite likely that the majority of the bishops in this country would not have been appointed if its priests and people had a meaningful role in the appointment process. It is now time for a fundamental rearrangement of the structures of pastoral care, consultation and institutional governance in the Catholic Church. To facilitate this, the clergy and people need to reappropriate confidently the rights to participation in the selection and election of bishops, a right and duty they had exercised for twelve hundred years.
The popular reception and affirmation of bishops will more certainly lead to the maintenance of a genuinely consultative, listening community. Catholics for Renewal have made both of these top advocacy priorities for 2016. The article linked here represents an attempt to open up these issues for further thought, reflection and action.
Read paper HERE