Monday, February 13, 2012

The Effectiveness of Petitioning Rome

ht: The Catholic Champion (Thanks Matthew!)

Interesting stuff to add to my "Blueprint for Anarchy" series: Petition: Belgian priests and laity call for reforms. This link isn't from some self-proclaimed Roman authority with access to the Internet. Anthony Ruff, OSB states:

"Just how many reformist petitions have been put forth by concerned Catholics in recent decades? Within Roman Catholic polity, such petitions are virtually the only way for reform-minded Catholics to address their concerns to the hierarchy. And their effectiveness seems pretty close to zilch. But the concerns don’t go away, and the petitions continue.

Here’s another one. 8,235 signatories in Flanders (the Dutch-speaking half of Belgium), including politicians and intellectuals as well as about a tenth of all Flemish priests, deacons and lay Church workers, have called for reforms including ordination of women and married people. On Thursday the petition was presented to the head of the Belgian bishops’ conference.

There will be more petitions. I don’t see the reformist concerns going away any time soon. The hierarchy probably will not get widespread buy-in from Catholics on the hot-button issues, not with a power structure perceived to be top-down and without representation or accountability. For its part the hierarchy (the pope, and the bishops appointed by him and his predecessor) probably will not budge on positions it considers unchangeable, even of divine origin. Much less will it budge on its exclusive claim to settle the issues."

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