Francis Decentralizes Church; Bishops Decentralize Dioceses

October 20, 2015 by  
Filed under Vatican

Just days after Pope Francis called for a “healthy decentralization” of power in the Catholic Church, Bishops at the Synod have now announced that they are calling for a “healthy decentralization” of power in their dioceses, giving more decision-making authority for local pastors.

The bishops made their comments at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Synod of Bishops, a worldwide gathering of bishops that occasionally does something worthwhile.

Cardinal Walter Kasper told those gathered that the type of collegiality envisioned by the Second Vatican Council still had not been achieved, and that it was not too late for pastors themselves to decentralize their own authority, and to give more decision-making authority to their parishioners.

“Pastors and even parishioners should have more authority to make decisions affecting themselves rather than always looking to the Catechism of the Catholic Church or Canon Law for a centralized decision that has to fit all,” he said.

Local pastor Fr. Devin Hayes told parishioners after reading an email from his bishop about the decentralization that he “had to take action immediately.”

“I feel the need to move ahead with a healthy decentralization of our parish and to allow every parishioner his or her own authority to make decisions so you don’t always have to look to me for an answer,” Hayes wrote on the parish website. “Do what you will, knowing in full confidence that your own conscience is your Vatican. I hereby elect every one of you Pope. Habemus A Lot Of Papam, or whatever the plural is for papam.”

As the synod enters its final days, bishops will produce a final paper that the pope may use to write his own authoritative document on the issues, wherein Francis will reportedly remind bishops that they can ignore the letter altogether if they wish because of the decentralization of authority.

  • David Poecking

    Meanwhile, bishops of the global Anglican communion denounced the move as Rome’s latest effort to appropriate their ecclesial model.

    • Evans Juice Julce

      Wow. The Anglican Communion spoke as a unified voice. This must be serious.

      • David Poecking

        No, it was just some of the bishops, and nobody really pays attention to them, anyway. 😉

    • ithakavi

      Their next step will be to sue for copyright infringement and demand 30% of the Catholic gross plus half of Peter’s Pence. They’ve already got Alan Dershowitz on retainer.

      • David Poecking

        Only 30%? They’re getting soft. When the “Anglican Church in North America” split from the Episcopal Church, which represented the broader Anglican communion, the Episcopal Church sued them for virtually all their property.

        • ithakavi

          Actually, all of it. Plus killing two bishops and all the loyal priests and religious. But what with the EU they have to go through a lot more bureaucracy and actual confiscation is not PC. But of course the EU will back them all the way.

      • CumExApostolatus

        Yeah, and Rome has Jacob Rothschild running the Vatican Bank.

    • DJR

      “Meanwhile, bishops of the global Anglican communion denounced the move as Rome’s latest effort to appropriate their ecclesial model…” and then filed suit in Federal court for patent infringement and misappropriation of copyrights.

  • Alejandro

    Well written as always, but I thought you were a satire page?

    • VeilOfTiers

      I agree…

      This is definitely not something one should share on social media!

  • PJParks

    I am waiting for the confession machine on the boardwalk in Ocean City.

    • steve5656546346

      Confession? Whatever for?

      • Vincent

        Driving a car bigger than a fiat and following the catechism for moral guidance rather than your conscience

        • letsgetreal

          you heretic!

      • letsgetreal

        confession? that went out with the baby and the bathwater following V2

    • DaGeek

      We’ve done away with sin…let your own conscience be your Vatican!! No need to listen to anyone to properly form your conscience, either! We’re all about mercy, you see (although without sin, there’s no need of mercy!). Savior? We don’t need no stinkin savior!

  • TJPW

    You may have crossed that line where it’s difficult to distinguish between satire and reality.

  • Paula Warnes

    Great!!! First proclamation: Dump the Novus Ordo!!!

  • samton909

    My first encyclical will be called “Laudato Me”

    • John the Mad

      Samton909: You and Sr. Mary Brigid ought to team up and take it on the road. Very funny.

  • Sr. Mary Brigid

    I just hope they don’t decentralize the Vatican Bank, too…that’d kill my credit rating.

  • Brad Miner

    As the Emperor Joseph might remark to his buddy Mozart: “Too many popes.”

    • cminca

      just a note brad–you are pathetic.

  • Philippa Martyr

    Cool! I’ve always wanted to be Pope.

    Do I get to take home my choice of Vatican art treasures now?

    • CumExApostolatus

      No, Silly. Those go to Tel Aviv and/or the reconstituted Sanhedrin.

  • joshuajohnwagner

    I have been granting “Parochial” annulments since being made a Pastor 6 years ago so I am glad that it’s finally legal to do whatever I want. Also, Mrs. Corbett preaches a lot of my masses on Sundays. I am ever so grateful for my Jesuit education.

    • letsgetreal

      I think its time to dump Mrs. Corbett…you are so sexist…its time to bring in Adam and Steve to deliver the sermons

      • joshuajohnwagner

        Sometimes… I let Mrs Corbett’s cat preach… I’m pretty sure the cat might be a little gay. Does that make it alright again?

        • letsgetreal

          That all depends…is it a “pussy cat” or a “tom cat”? LOL!!!

          • joshuajohnwagner

            It’s whatever it wants to be. Thanks “Caitlyn”

  • Carlo Dante

    My first decision is to revoke the papal conclave, take the power to appoint the Pope to myself, and appoint Raymond Leo Card. Burke Roman Pontiff.

    • Rose Lincoln

      Hmmm. I’ve gone blank!

  • Derek Brown

    The next logical step would be for this model to move down into the family, except for the fact that it is in the family that this model was first developed and promulgated. The new drive through annulment process is evidence of that.

  • Casper

    “Do what you will, knowing in full confidence that your own conscience is your Vatican”.
    Oh good – – sounds like we’re all Wiccans now.
    I think that’s very pastoral!

  • MIKE

    The Pope has not put anything in writing (yet) about decentralization.
    The Synod has not made its final recommendation on anything yet.

    For any individual Bishop or Priest to act without written direction from the Pope – he is starting his own Church.

  • MIKE

    WOW! Fr. Devin Hayes is loaded with the Mortal Sin of Pride.
    It has never been up to any Priest to determine if anything is a Mortal Sin or not.

    Mortal Sins are defined in two OFFICIAL books of the Church –
    1) a Catholic Bible;
    2) the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition” (aka CCC) of 1997 – which contains the Doctrine of the Faith.

  • Biking in a skirt

    Habeo papas fritas.

    • Vincent

      But if papas fritas lose their salt…. what good are they?

  • Biking in a skirt

    Romanes eunt domum.

    • Tony Romano

      How many Romans…?

    • The Classicist

      Still a better sentence than most of my Latin 101 students can write…

  • Jean Robertson

    total madness.

  • Hotrod1962

    So, in other words, we become Protestants?

    • Jim

      I’m pretty sure the correct term will be Prodecents following the concept of Sola Decentra.

      • Hotrod1962

        Sola Decentra is a great concept. Every parish can vote on what dogma they wish to follow. Having a problem with gay marriage at your parish?……..Holy Family has no problem with it (according to Father Betsy). Heck, each parish can vote on it’s own pope.

        • Jim

          Great news for the manufacturers of white cassocks!

          • wiffle

            The price will really come down, though, if parishes can get Wal-Mart to carry them.

  • B. F.

    So does this mean the Catholic Church will break up into smaller denominations; kind of like the protestant churches? I kind of prefer a centralized authority which has made the Church as strong as it is. I know there are bad people within the walls of the Church. But the beauty of that is the Church remains strong in spite of our failings.

  • ithakavi

    And this afternoon my sixth grade son came home and announced that our Domestic Church was henceforth to be ‘healthily decentralized’ and demanded that his weekly allowance be tripled and made by direct deposit. Plus he was to have his own keys to the house and all content filters removed from his computer and the family television. And free candy and ice cream.

    Who was I to judge?

  • Peter Rock

    Everybody rules in the new dispensation but some who know the art of bulldozing and clever manipulation will rule to lead the way for the anti-Christ

  • 1crappie2

    This (hardly satire) is but the misuse of subsidiarity, which was never intended to reverse the sacred task given the Church to guard faithfully the truths (doctrines) as handed on by the apostles. Novelty is not the Church’s business.
    The Church cannot exist around the “Doctrine of ambiguity”