Bishops' conferences not above individual bishops...
Blogged by James Preece on 4th October 2013
I'm sure you all know this, but it's good to be reminded now and then...
Archbishop Gerhard Müller, has warned against false expectations of Curia reform. Whereas the papal and episcopal offices are legitimised by Divine Law, national bishops’ conferences are not. Local bishops’ conferences were work groups “without a teaching competency over and above the authority of individual bishops. They are not a third authority between the Pope and the bishops. So I don’t think we will see a sort of federalist reform similar to that in the Federal Republic [of Germany] where key competences are relayed from the central state to the individual states. That is not how the Church is constituted.”
Would he agree that Pope Francis wanted the Church to be less dogmatic and moralising and to concentrate more on pastoral work, Archbishop Müller was asked. “It isn’t as if Pope Benedict or other bishops had continually spoken about abortion, sexual morals or euthanasia,” he replied. “Pastoral work is not a therapeutic game. It wants to serve people with the Word of God. That is why juxtaposing doctrinal and moral teaching against pastoral work is not [the right way]. The former is the source of the latter.”
On the odd occasion when I've had a one to one chat with a Bishop, they often answer questions with an answer that amounts to "I personally agree, but I have to see what the Bishops Conference decide".
Bishops! You are personally responsible for your own diocese. Do what you think is right. Stop creeping around being afraid of offending some department somebody or another..
h/t Protect the Pope