2013-02-18 John W John W's previous articles
A Politburo Papacy?
When the new pope steps out on the balcony of St Peter's after his election, I hope he has four cardinals on his left and four on his right
he introduces them by saying:
Starting today, I hope that photos of the pope displayed in churches and other buildings will not be of one person, but of this group of nine
From today there will be a patriarch for each region of the world, and they will be totally responsible for overall pastoral guidance and animation of the Church in their regions
Europe: Patriarch (name)....with special responsibility for being a bridge between the Catholic Church and our Orthodox brothers and sisters
The Middle East: Patriarch (name), based at Jerusalem...with special responsibility for being a bridge between the Catholic Church and our Abrahamic brothers and sisters of the Jewish and Muslim faiths
South Asia: Patriarch (name)...with special responsibility for being a bridge between the Catholic Church and our Hindu brothers and sisters
East Asia: Patriarch (name)...with special responsibility for being a bridge between the Catholic Church and our Buddhist brothers and sisters
South East Asia & the Pacific: Patriarch (name).
South America: Patriarch (name).
Central and North America: Patriarch (name).
I ask each patriarch to form his own advisory group, made up of clerical, religious and lay representatives from the countries in his region
I ask each patriarch to share as much responsibility as possible with the bishops' conferences of each country in his region, allowing the bishops' conferences to be responsible for electing bishops, regulating liturgical and sacramental practice, canonizations, divorce issues, vigilance over doctrinal questions etc
see the role of the eight patriarchs here, not as rulers, not as local popes,
but as servant-animators, travelling their regions to encourage and animate
local bishops' conferences ....and this will also be my role:
a servant-animator travelling and working with each patriarch for several weeks in each region each year
The patriarch for Europe, based at the Vatican, will be responsible for the running of the Vatican. I would see nearly all the former roles of the Curia in future being the responsibilities of bishops' conferences
I also would see bishops' conferences in turn allowing each individual bishop as much responsibility as possible
I ask all levels - each diocese, each bishops' conference, each patriarchate - to hold regular synods as a way of allowing the Holy Spirit to energise the Church
now ask each of the eight patriarchs to say a few words and offer a prayer
young Joseph Ratzinger once suggested the Church needs more patriarchs. An older
JR then changed his mind.
See paragraphs 7 and 8 of this article
9 of same article has the words:
(DeVille) proposes dividing up the Western Catholic Church into six regional patriarchates, arranged roughly by continent, of which Rome would be one (for Europe). Each regional patriarchate would have, along the lines of the Orthodox model, a full synod of bishops that would meet frequently and regularly, and a permanent or “standing” synod, which would meet continually to advise its patriarch.
These synods would replace the Roman curia and be responsible for electing bishops, regulating liturgical and sacramental practice (including “enculturation”), canonizing saints, and exercising vigilance over doctrinal questions, among other matters.
do you think? Please post a comment!