One bishop’s proposal for eliminating clericalism

One bishop’s proposal for eliminating clericalism October 23, 2019

Photo by Sins S on Unsplash

Details, from CNS:

The way to rid the Catholic Church of clericalism is by giving laywomen a greater role in making decisions, a Bolivian bishop said.

Bishop Ricardo Ernesto Centellas Guzman of Potosi told Catholic News Service Oct. 23 that before considering the proposal from some members of the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon to ordain women deacons and married “viri probati,” or men of proven virtue, the current “model of the church, which is too hierarchal, must change.”

“It isn’t a question of adding another piece to the chessboard. It’s a question of organizing things in a different way,” he said.

During a synod news briefing Oct. 23, Bishop Centellas told reporters that while women are “the majority” in the church, “their participation in the organization and decisions in the life and mission of the church is very little.”

“I think that if we do not change structures, if we do not change our way of organizing ourselves, that will not change,” the bishop said.

When asked to elaborate on the role of women in the church, Bishop Centellas told CNS that currently the church is suffering from a serious sickness “that we have been fighting against for the past 50 years but have been unable to eradicate.”

“That sickness is clericalism,” he said. “So, it isn’t a question of a diaconate for women or ‘viri probati.’ The problem is the model of the church. I believe Pope Francis had a special intuition in his document ‘Episcopalis Communio’ (‘Episcopal Communion’) when he said that we must invert (the structure); lay people above, clergy below.”

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