Much As We Want Pope Francis’ Strategy for Reform to Work…

In response to article in National Catholic Reporter: “Francis is Reforming the Roman Curia by Circumvention” by Robert Mickens.

Robert Mickens asks: “Is the pope making any moves to ensure that he will leave a legacy that cannot be undone when he is gone? Which means he has to make some structural or organizational changes.”

Mickens notes Pope Francis’ strategy of “Neutralizing” the CDF and “Softening” the heads of other branches of the Curia.

Hmmmmm…will this change, which will take years that Pope Francis may or may not have, ever come about? And even if it does…

This “neutralizing and softening strategy” of Pope Francis…
…can it ever lead to structural change within the RC Rite/Church?
…… a Rite/Church in which so many ‘new’ priests/bishops of the past 30 years have been formed in the hands of O P U S Dei and SSPX…
……with their ultraconservative vision and understanding of the Church?

The Roman Rite vision of Church is A VERY different vision from Pope Francis…with his “situational ethics” which Pope Benedict XVI condemned.
But even this isn’t the core of the problem of Church reform.

Pope Francis’ vision of Church reform is stuck in Constantine’s vision of hierarchy as the only strategy to unity. This vision of hierarchic unity, in turn, is based on a theology of God as Divine Monarch, even Divinely Loving Monarch. This reform is NOT the reform that Vatican II points to, no matter how “synodal” the Church gets as the years go on.

On the other hand,

Pope Francis understands the idea of a multifaceted unity according to Cardinal Kasper and his ORIGINS article, “Vatican II: Toward a Multifaceted Unity. (Volume 45, Number 9).

Yet, Pope Francis’ reform persists in the direction of hierarchic unity instead of considering that the Roman Rite may never really take to Vatican II’s embrace of diversity.

The Church NEEDS the Roman Rite with its hierarchic vision of God, theology, governance and liturgy.  AND YET…

Just as the Church needed the input of the Melkite Eastern Rite at Vatican II to challenge it to consider and embrace synodality, collegiality, and a different view of the world…

…SO THE CHURCH ALSO NEEDS A VATICAN II RITE to challenge and be challenged by the Roman Rite and its sister/brother Eastern Rites in union with Rome.

 

Otherwise, we will be stuck forever trying to push and pull reform back and forth between Roman and Vatican II visions for the Church.   No?

Link to Robert Micken’s article: http://www.ncronline.org/blogs/roman-observer/francis-reforming-roman-curia-circumvention

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