Regional Churches, Regional Faiths, Regional 'Gods'
Not only would it be impossible to see how the Church is One, Holy and Universal, but it would cast great doubt whether God is One and Holy, as if God would say, "No, no, do whatever you like. I'm liberal when I'm in Munich, but much more intolerant of sin in Warsaw."
What the Synod decides, obviously, has no effect on the Reality of God. There are obviously no theological implications for Almighty God. The Church cannot change God.
I didn't consider I was saying anything controversial, but was thinking about what impacts are at stake for the Catholicity of the Church. I was saying that if doctrinal authority were devolved that would give, say, the Germans, an entirely different presentation of God to the Poles, so that in Germany God would be presented as an affable uncle who overlooks sin entirely, whereas in Poland God would be presented in a different light, because it all depends on the quality of the Bishops country to country and their personal beliefs. The teaching on and the perception of God in Warsaw would be different to that of Munich. Perhaps it already is. It would, inevitably, create different Faiths, rather than sustain the oneness of the Catholic Faith, more than simply regional 'Churches'.
|'We're not a subsidiary of Rome you know!"|
Two different presentations of the One True God would, I'm afraid, make the Church's faith in the One True God look a bit silly, if it varies from country to country. It seriously undermines the credibility of the One True Church and One True Faith because somehow, despite having abandoned a vital tenet of Catholic Faith, the German Church would still maintain some kind of communion (Shall we call it a financial communion?) with the Church of Rome.
It is true that at this stage we do not know what will happen. However, it is not true that we do not know what the Germans want. Alas, we can no longer say, after the Pope's speech, in which he once again referred to a 'conversion of the papacy' and talked of a 'healthy decentralisation' that the Pope does not want to give the Germans exactly what they want. They, as we know from Cardinal Marx's statements on precisely where Rome can shove its authority, do not care if the Church's Faith is no longer One, Holy or Universal. Let's be clear about this:
The Germans say, quite clearly, 'We do not recognise your authority over us.'
The Pope, in a speech, indicates, 'Yeah, come to think of it, me neither.'
Decentralisation in terms of doctrine would be saying, "It's not schism because...er...Pope says so!" Regional Churches and national churches mean regional 'Gods' (in terms of presentation) and national 'Gods' (in terms of the presentation of Faith). Not the Faith, but the Faiths. Of course, we'd all still sing or recite the same Creed, but like the Our Father, it would be made into something of a lie because...er...Pope says its okay! So...
That's all I was really trying to say. Of course, all of the above might be nonsense. I'm no theologian and the future is unknown but 'structural changes' of the kind muted by Pope Francis in the Church will have some serious ramifications. The most serious, I would suggest, is the possible effect as described below...
|Catholic means 'Universal'|