Pope Francis calls for changes to papacy and a more decentralized church

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Pope Francis talks during a special audience to mark the 50th anniversary of Synod of Bishops in Paul VI hall at the Vatican October 17, 2015. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Pope Francis talks during a special audience to mark the 50th anniversary of Synod of Bishops in Paul VI hall at the Vatican October 17, 2015. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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Speaking at the 59th anniversary of the Synod of Bishops, the pontiff called for changes in the papacy and greater decision-making authority for local bishops.

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  • Bernardo

    A good starting point? Eliminate the dogma of papal infallibility.

  • Fran

    And the disunity and division still abounds.

  • Sister Geraldine Marie, OP, RN, PHN

    Papal infallibility again! It means when the Pope speaks on an issue of DOCTRINE ONLY, he is speaking with the authority of the Holy Spirit. NOTHING ELSE! Not what he says about tea, onions or music, for example. DOCTRINE, what we must believe as Christians. Look it up! And stop repeating what you’ve only heard others say, who don’t know the facts, either.

    Collegiality is good, as long as the final conclusion is based on the Gospels.

  • Deacon John M Bresnahan

    The big danger in decentralization is that various Catholic local churches will become national churches and the concept of a supranational Christian Church will die. The model so-called “reformers: seem to want is like in the Eastern Orthodox world.
    But the various Orthodox Churches can’t even seem to control their nationalism enough so they can get together for a serious meeting (mostly because of Greece vs. Russia it seems)
    And many historians argue that the Russian Orthodox Church–lacking international ties was easy pickings for Soviet dirty tricks including government spies ordained as priests and bishops.[

  • Bernardo

    Yes Sister, we all know that but just in case:

    “Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church that states that, in virtue of the promise of Jesus to Peter, the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error “When, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine …”

    Which all vitiated by the resurrection et al cons!!!

  • Sister Geraldine Marie, OP, RN, PHN

    Papal infallibility, again! It means when the Pope speaks on an issue of DOCTRINE ONLY, he is speaking with the authority of the Holy Spirit. NOTHING ELSE! Not what he says about onions, tea or music. DOCTRINE, what we must believe as Christians. Look it up! And stop regurgitating what you’ve only heard from others who are equally ignorant and prejudiced.

    Collegiality is good, as long as the final conclusion is based on the Gospels.

  • Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    A Pilgrim Church moves. It is dynamic and not static.

  • Amen! That one should be the first of many.

  • How is that different from the influential families of Italy (e.g., Borgias, Medicis, etc.) appointing bishops and popes?

  • Kurt

    That is a fair point, Deacon. The path to the best of both worlds might be replacing much of the Roman Curia with the bishops of dioceses. The Church would still have a world voice, but it would be developed with the input of pastors from around the globe.

    I would offer even one, simple reform that I think might have a big and positive impact. Cease ordaining any man to the episcopacy (or raising him to the archepiscopate) for the purpose of being a Curial bureaucrat.

  • Debbo

    “Catholics in difficulty, such as homosexuals and divorced people who have remarried outside the Church.”

    The only “difficulty” those folks are having are the problems inflicted on them by the RCC. There are millions of very happy divorced and LBTG Roman Catholics around the world who are living very happy lives because they ignore the diminishing the RCC hierarchy tries to inflict on them. They attend RCC churches where priests and parishioners who don’t think it’s their job to enforce punitive and selective RCC doctrine. They are full participating members of their churches.

    Those churches are examples of the RCC at its best.

  • Debbo

    There is a great deal that can be done to make the RCC a better church. (Every Christian denomination has room for improvement.)

    The RCC’s extremely top heavy, hierarchical structure is a breeding ground for it’s recurring corruption. That won’t change if the structure doesn’t change, which is what Francisco seems to be advocating.

    There are first rate examples of Catholics doing much better if one looks outside the RCC. I’m referring to the other Catholic denominations: American Catholics, Evangelical Catholics, United Catholics, Liberal Catholics, etc. My RCC friends tell me their priests are hard-pressed to even acknowledge the resources these denominations of Catholics offer and their seminaries refuse to admit those thousands of Catholics and their churches exist. Very strange, even fearful on the part of the RCC.

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  • Dominic

    No dogmas made in the Church can ever be changed. Ergo, the infallibility of the Pope when he speaks ex cathedra is an infallible revelation which can never be undone.

  • Dominic

    Decentralizing the authority of Rome is a very bad idea, I don’t know what the Pope is thinking here. The Church cannot have contradicting acts within the same Church and call itself Catholic. There is too large a difference in Bishop’s ideologies to allow them to act they see prudent. The Pope must remain the final arbiter of Church, or the need for the Vicar of Christ is moot……a tremendous heretical notion.

  • John

    absolutely

  • John

    http://bookofconcord.org/treatise.php

    A counter view on the papacy and papal infallibility.

  • SUPER ROMAN CATHOLIC EXTREMIST FAN

    I’m sure Anti-Pope Francis would be glad to do away with that, if he could get away with it. Actually, the “Church” would probably end up looking better – anyone with the intelligence can see that the Vatican II “Popes” are illegitimate by the standards set by the previous claimants.

  • Bernardo

    Canonization of the likes of Pio and Juan eliminates any consideration of papal infallibility

    o “Now Rome which developed the Church of Dogma (rather than metanoia) dared to add things which have scant basis in scripture like the Trinity, Individual priesthood, Auricular Confession, Transubstantiation, Infallibility, Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. None of these are present in scripture nor can they be deduced. Matthew 16:18 was discovered to apply to the papacy by Damasus I who had over a hundred of his rival’s supporter’s killed to gain the bishopric of Rome. It is after this time that the phrase from Matthew is more and more centered on Rome. The bishops of Rome committed many crimes. The biggest one was to ascribe their malfeasance to the Holy Spirit. Still is.”

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  • ben in oakland

    D– you ought to look up the definition of the word Catholic.

  • Dominic

    It means universal……your point?

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  • edward g stafford

    Papal Infallibility, properly understood is a gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church, as it protects the Supreme Pontif from errors in matters of Faith and Morals when speaking ex cathedra. Hmm, seems pretty restricted as the good sister noted. How many Infallible declarations have there been? Collegiality and papal infallibility are as much in conflict as reason and faith – both are blessings to guard the deposit of faith and spread the truth of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.