Saturday, January 10, 2015

Gerald Slevin on Pope's Pivot on Rumors of a Vatican Council: Now or Never

In a new posting at his Christian Catholicism site, Jerry Slevin cites a recent observation by Robert Mickens:

Importantly, informed Vatican journalist, Robert Mickens, recently reported on a  "rumor" that some experts at pontifical universities in Rome have been "asked to quietly prepare preliminary documents for an ecumenical council to be called during or after the 2015 Synod."

Jerry notes that Mickens is understandably skeptical about the rumors, but argues (as he has done so for quite some time now) that the Catholic church desperately needs an ecumenical council to clean up its present mess and right its ship. As with everything Jerry writes, the essay is rich, dense, and lengthy. I'm presenting an excerpt here in the hope that it will point readers to the essay in its entirety.

Here's the section of Jerry's statement that leaps off the page for me, as the heart of the matter:
Pope Francis has already bought the Vatican needed time strategically by shrewdly prioritizing the Vatican's problems, but he has run out of time with that strategy. He put financial scandals first. He moved sexual morality issues to a drawn out two step, nearly three year Synod process. He placed the priest child abuse scandal on a slow track with an advisory commission with no clear mandate. 
This strategic sequencing, and Francis' winning public persona, has bought the Vatican a temporary reprieve. Pope Francis, however, will soon be out of time with this deferral approach. 
Aging Pope Francis cannot clean up the Catholic Church "mess in the house of cards" and its rigged leadership transition process, unless he moves now to restore the Church's original consensual management structure with its democratic accountability. A carefully structured ecumenical council may now be his last chance to accomplish this. It is basic "Management 101". Changing fundamentally the dysfunctional and obsolete top down monarchical management structure, and curtailing the resulting and continuing priest child abuse and financial scandals, among others, cannot be avoided any longer! It appears to be "now or never" for Pope Francis and the Vatican.

This argument seems to me very compelling. What do the rest of you think?

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