PopeWatch: The Center Cannot Hold





From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:



Just days after Pope Francis called for a “healthy decentralization” of power in the Catholic Church, Bishops at the Synod have now announced that they are calling for a “healthy decentralization” of power in their dioceses, giving more decision-making authority for local pastors.

The bishops made their comments at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Synod of Bishops, a worldwide gathering of bishops that occasionally does something worthwhile.

Cardinal Walter Kasper told those gathered that the type of collegiality envisioned by the Second Vatican Council still had not been achieved, and that it was not too late for pastors themselves to decentralize their own authority, and to give more decision-making authority to their parishioners.

“Pastors and even parishioners should have more authority to make decisions affecting themselves rather than always looking to the Catechism of the Catholic Church or Canon Law for a centralized decision that has to fit all,” he said.

Local pastor Fr. Devin Hayes told parishioners after reading an email from his bishop about the decentralization that he “had to take action immediately.”

“I feel the need to move ahead with a healthy decentralization of our parish and to allow every parishioner his or her own authority to make decisions so you don’t always have to look to me for an answer,” Hayes wrote on the parish website. “Do what you will, knowing in full confidence that your own conscience is your Vatican. I hereby elect every one of you Pope. Habemus A Lot Of Papam, or whatever the plural is for papam.”

As the synod enters its final days, bishops will produce a final paper that the pope may use to write his own authoritative document on the issues, wherein Francis will reportedly remind bishops that they can ignore the letter altogether if they wish because of the decentralization of authority.


When PopeWatch attempted to contact the Pope at the Vatican about all this, his call was answered by Mabel at the diocese of

Lubbock.  Apparently the Vatican has decentralized its phone operation.  Mabel tried for an hour to connect me with the Vatican but she kept being connected to various parishes around the country.  Boy was she ticked!  After an hour she gave up and told me, “Perhaps you should just send them a fax or e-mail”?



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  1. Obviously this is but a frail lukewarm attempt at decentralization (that anti-hierarchal impulse) and needs to be cleaned up.
    I would recommend they go much further away from Roman authoritarianism by moving a lot of that authority into the skilled hands of the young male and female alter-servers, also, any ushers, who by merit of longevity, (10 years or longer collecting) will receive the same honors.
    Diversity is heavenly!

  2. That really made me laugh! Habemus a lot of papam! And we don’t have to treat Francis’ document as authoritative! …because

  3. for some reason the words “2nd law of thermodynamics” come to mind as I read early reports from Rome. I may become dependent upon the laughter provided by EOTT.

    Entropy will either increase or remain the same– there is really no going back. One cannot unsay what has been said. or grab back from the cultural boiling pot…

  4. Scanned the post too quickly. Got wound up. Did a double check to make sure this was Eye of the Tiber. The quotes were so plausible. Whew. Of course……………………

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