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Author Topic: How much authority does the local bishop have in the RC church?  (Read 1294 times) Average Rating: 0
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serb1389
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« on: June 01, 2009, 02:03:50 PM »

So after numerous and incalculable discussions about papal primacy, I was curious as to how much this really has an effect on the grass-roots level.  How much authority does the local bishop really have?  I would assume that he can be trumped by some kind of synod, but what does this synod look like and how does it work?  are there multiple levels?  I also assume that he can be trumped by the pope himself, but how does that work?  does the pope just tell them what to do, etc.?  Or is it more intricate. 

Basically any kind of explanation along these lines would be awesome.  Thanks!   
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2009, 04:01:54 PM »

I have to head out in a second, but here is just a small blurb.

Within the Roman Catholic Church, there are things called Episcopal Conferences, such as the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, and are attended by all bishops over a specific geographic area.  The exact nature of these conferences were outlined by the Second Vatican Council, the Ecclesiae sanctae, the Code of Canon Law, and Apostolos suos.

Conferences of Bishops (Code of Canon Law)
Apostolos Suos

I'll try and address more later, but I thought I would give you some things to read over.
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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2009, 04:14:07 PM »

I can tell you that from personal experience, it seems to me that the local bishop usually has a far greater effect on the local diocese. The personality of the Bishop tends to give each diocese its flavor. If you have a bishop who is dedicated to the traditional Catholic faith, vocations tend soar, the Tridentine liturgy is readily available, and the Novus Ordo is celebrated properly. However, if you live in a diocese with Bishops who desire that all are nothing more than "happily Catholic" (a quote from a Bishop I know very well) then you see some of the examples of modernism that some on this forum are all but too happy to point out. Thankfully, the current trend is towards Bishops who fall into the former category, rather than into the later.
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2009, 04:38:21 PM »

He has a lot more authority than some Orthodox would have you to believe, that's for sure!  They are not puppets or two-headed monsters, just to reiterate some less than ideal descriptions I've heard from the Orthodox camp on Catholic government.
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2009, 05:35:06 PM »

The Latin Catholic Church does not have local synods.  Their is a General Synod for the entire Church that meets periodically in Rome.  The Melkites recommended the Curia be replaced by a standing SynodTheir are national/regional episcopal conferences but their authority is fairly limited.  Bishops usually have a Metropolitan over them, but his authority is extremely limited to a few specific oversight tasks, he really can't intervene with the bishop's rule of his diocese.  While theoretically the Pope may intervene on his own initiative this almost never happens. 

Given the great variance in what goes on diocese to diocese, it should be obvious Catholic bishops rule their diocese pretty much how they see fit.

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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2009, 06:19:06 PM »

How does it work in a smaller area (like..not all of canada).  For example, here in New England, is there a local synod of New England?  I know Deacon Lance just said that they don't have local synods, but it appears that they do, at least if Canada is any indicator.  I'm gona read through those documents that were referenced above, and maybe that will lead to more questions. 
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2009, 07:31:56 PM »

In the US besides the National Conference, each state also has a conference but again these have no authority.
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2009, 08:56:27 PM »

In the US besides the National Conference, each state also has a conference but again these have no authority.

Like each of the 50 states?  Does that include Alaska and Hawaii? 

Also, are there bigger conferences?  Like as we heard there is one for Canada, so is there one for the US?  What about Mexico? 

Maybe a basic RC ecclesiology would be helpful for me here too...if anyone wants to help out. 

I still plan on reading those links, just not tonight...lol
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2009, 09:59:40 PM »

In the US besides the National Conference, each state also has a conference but again these have no authority.

Like each of the 50 states?  Does that include Alaska and Hawaii? 

Also, are there bigger conferences?  Like as we heard there is one for Canada, so is there one for the US?  What about Mexico? 

Maybe a basic RC ecclesiology would be helpful for me here too...if anyone wants to help out. 

The Local Church has no RC ecclesiastical meaning, despite that fact that the conferences are set up by canon.  That is why we Orthodox welcomed Cardinal Ratzinger's comment that the West be broken down into local churches, and bemoaned Pope Benedict's dropping of the title "Patriarch of the West": his title "Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province" of course is fine (to be fair, I think that Antioch is the only Patriarchate in the East which willingly granted autocephaly to anyone, i.e. Georgia).  It is also why there are no Western "sui juris" churches, just rites (e.g. Ambrosian instead of Milan, Mozarabic instead of Toledo), and the problem that the TAC is presenting the Vatican, along with the Anglican use.  Only the East (and do to their original in schims from the Orthodox) do "sui juris" exist (and not for their entire history).

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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2009, 10:08:55 PM »


The US Conference of Catholic Bishops
http://www.usccb.org/

The Directory of State Catholic Conferences
http://www.nasccd.org/

Think of the USCCB as our version of SCOBA and the State Conferences as mini-SCOBAs.
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2009, 10:47:32 PM »

In the US besides the National Conference, each state also has a conference but again these have no authority.

Like each of the 50 states?  Does that include Alaska and Hawaii? 

Also, are there bigger conferences?  Like as we heard there is one for Canada, so is there one for the US?  What about Mexico? 

Maybe a basic RC ecclesiology would be helpful for me here too...if anyone wants to help out. 

The Local Church has no RC ecclesiastical meaning, despite that fact that the conferences are set up by canon.  That is why we Orthodox welcomed Cardinal Ratzinger's comment that the West be broken down into local churches, and bemoaned Pope Benedict's dropping of the title "Patriarch of the West":

You might want to read the Lumen Gentium from Vatican II....you might be surprised as to their ecclesiology. 

Quote
his title "Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province" of course is fine (to be fair, I think that Antioch is the only Patriarchate in the East which willingly granted autocephaly to anyone, i.e. Georgia). 

Yah good luck with that.  Have you checked your autocephaly thread recently... Wink Grin

Quote
It is also why there are no Western "sui juris" churches, just rites (e.g. Ambrosian instead of Milan, Mozarabic instead of Toledo), and the problem that the TAC is presenting the Vatican, along with the Anglican use.  Only the East (and do to their original in schims from the Orthodox) do "sui juris" exist (and not for their entire history).

Firstly you might want to explain "sui juris" as you see it because i'm not connecting with the way I have understood it. 

Also...TAC?  sorry i'm not up with the lingo..

Yah I think we need to agree on the terms first. 
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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2009, 10:56:04 PM »

Also...TAC?  sorry i'm not up with the lingo..

Traditional Anglican Communion
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« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2009, 11:47:34 PM »

In the US besides the National Conference, each state also has a conference but again these have no authority.

Like each of the 50 states?  Does that include Alaska and Hawaii? 

Also, are there bigger conferences?  Like as we heard there is one for Canada, so is there one for the US?  What about Mexico? 

Maybe a basic RC ecclesiology would be helpful for me here too...if anyone wants to help out. 

The Local Church has no RC ecclesiastical meaning, despite that fact that the conferences are set up by canon.  That is why we Orthodox welcomed Cardinal Ratzinger's comment that the West be broken down into local churches, and bemoaned Pope Benedict's dropping of the title "Patriarch of the West":

You might want to read the Lumen Gentium from Vatican II....you might be surprised as to their ecclesiology. 

I have read Lumen Gentium, several times.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20203.msg302575.html#msg302575
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11171.msg299926.html#msg299926
What do you have in mind?

his title "Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province" of course is fine (to be fair, I think that Antioch is the only Patriarchate in the East which willingly granted autocephaly to anyone, i.e. Georgia). 

Yah good luck with that.  Have you checked your autocephaly thread recently... Wink Grin

Not recently, not until you brought it up.  I don't understand your point/question. Anything specific?

It is also why there are no Western "sui juris" churches, just rites (e.g. Ambrosian instead of Milan, Mozarabic instead of Toledo), and the problem that the TAC is presenting the Vatican, along with the Anglican use.  Only the East (and do to their original in schims from the Orthodox) do "sui juris" exist (and not for their entire history).

Firstly you might want to explain "sui juris" as you see it because i'm not connecting with the way I have understood it.

sui juris is like autocephalous Churches.  Rites is like WRO.

Quote
Also...TAC?  sorry i'm not up with the lingo..

this has been answered, but "Traditional Anglican Communion"

Quote
Yah I think we need to agree on the terms first. 
Any other terms?

Now, to why I brought up this thread: I saw a point a follower of the Vatican brought up on another forum  police Roll Eyes police which I thought was interesting, but didn't want to create a redundant thread on.

He pointed out, on the question of the power of the Pope of Rome to "bind and lose," that traditionalist groups obviously don't take that unqualified, pointing out that they did not accept Vatican II, which the Pope of Rome signed off on an they therefore are supposed to consider infallible as to faith and binding as to practice.  The local bishops were forced to go NO, but the SSPX and other traditionalist types resisted, and the TLM  went from being the only DL, to being nearly banned allowed only with special, restricted permission (I went to one in those days, I remember the issue about the permission), to letting bishops allow it if requested, to encouraging bishops to allow it, to allowing any priest to celebrate it, to requiring bishops to provide it for any that required it. (btw, someone also made a good remark, when someone was saying the fact that Orthodox will drive hours to another Church, passing other Orthodox Churches, due to the calendar: many traditionalists will travel miles for their TLM).  This led to an intersting discussion among followers of the Vatican.

Now, the Traditonalists have the most reason to be, and are, Ultramontanists (leaving aside the amusing position sedevantists put themselves in).  Yet they decided "pope doesn't know best," stood their ground, and have now gotten their way.  It raises interesting questions on the monopoly the pope of Rome has on the keys, questions not without relevance to the subject discussed at Ravenna.
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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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