Authority Structures in the Catholic Church
What changes are required to bring the exercise of authority in the Catholic Church in line with the requirements of Vatican II? We have put forward some suggestions concerning the following:
- The role of the papacy;
- The authority of Bishops’ conferences;
- The autonomy of the central Synod of bishops;
- The setting up of pastoral councils;
- Oversight of the election/selection of key church officials;
- Correct functioning of the Vatican curia as a civil service;
- A CDF guided by independently chosen professionals.
Again, by what values should the exercise of authority be inspired in the Catholic church? We suggest the following:
- Honesty and truth;
- Caring for people;
- Co-responsibility – Democratic decision making;
- Accountability and transparency;
- Openness to the Spirit;
- Radiating a Christ who liberates.
We welcome any contributions to our lines of inquiry, whether in the form of observations, critiques, submission of new material or the suggestion of other topics for research.
- Democracy in the Christian Church. An Historical, Theological and Political Case, by Luca Badini Confalonieri, Ecclesiological Investigations vol. 16 (London: Continuum/Bloomsbury Academic, 2012), 304pp.
- “Christ’s Idea of Authority” by John Wijngaards, Amruthavani, Secunderabad India, 1975; Telugu edition as “Srisabhalô Âdikâram”, Secunderabad 1976; USA edition: Christ’s Idea of Authority, 1988.