An ever more centralizing Curia

Par Don Pio Pace

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The Congregations for the Clergy, for the Institutes of consecrated life, for the Bishops, are more and more keeping a tight rein on “dissenting” bishops whose policy is not “in line”, as they multiply for them canonical visits, sometimes labelled “fraternal visits.” The suspicion of the Roman offices is particularly targeting the independence that certain religious communities have shown, often communities attracting quite a few vocations.

In a rescript dated 11 May 2016, it had been decided that the erection of a diocesan institute of consecrated life, should be preceded, under the penalty of nullity, by a preliminary consultation of the Holy See, this under the main motive that the Successors of the Apostles could proceed with foundations “without sufficient discernment.”

Making things even more difficult: the motu proprio Authenticum charismatis, dated 1 November 2020 takes this incredible measure which prevents bishops the possibility to erect by themselves a religious institute, by modifying canon 579, in such a way that a preliminary permission of the Holy See – licentia -, from now on, must be requested and given in writing – prævia licentia Sedis Apostolicæ scripto data.

Did you say reform of the Curia? Did you say synodality?

Pio Pace