02 April 2007

Jeremiah 6.14

The following from an article on the principle of subsidiarity in the Catholic Church, a principle which obtains, and more so, within the Anglican Communion as well.

For years, Church officials from across the political spectrum have lamented a creeping centralization within the Catholic Church. The Roman Curia has been accused of being overly interventionist and power-hungry, dipping into local problems that could be better handled at a lower level. At the same time, Curial officials have insisted that they don’t want to have to rein in every maverick theologian and doctrinal dissident, and only do so when the local church authorities either ask them to intervene or simply fail to do their job.

As Cardinal Walter Kasper wrote in the April 23, 2001 issue of Jesuit-run America magazine, over-centralization in the Catholic Church cannot be blamed exclusively on the Roman Curia. The local churches themselves promote centralization, he wrote, “whenever they abdicate their responsibility and turn to Rome for a decision — a ruse to evade their duty and find cover behind a superior order.”

. . .

Prior to his election as pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger himself spoke out on several occasions regarding the need for local Church authorities to take responsibility for church teaching within their dioceses. In the fall 2001 meeting of the synod of bishops, for example, Ratzinger asked bishops to crack down on doctrinal error. “If at times it may be just to tolerate a lesser evil for the sake of peace in the church, let us not forget that a peace paid for with the loss of the truth would be a false peace, an empty peace,” he said, drawing the most sustained applause of the synod.

The irony is that in rejecting the Primate's attempts to help the Episcopal Church find "an American solution to an American problem," the liberals in the House of Bishops may have advanced exactly what they fear: a creeping curial centralization.

Here's the whole thing.

 

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