Perspectief 2014-26

Perspectief 48 Prof. dr. Peter De Mey - Also the Jesuit interview contains much information on the Pope’s plans concerning the government of the universal Church. Pope Francis knows from personal experience – since he was made provincial at too young an age – that an authoritarian style does not work. In his government of the universal Church he wants to pursue the same style he has practised since he became archbishop of Buenos Aires, when he had two-weekly meetings with his auxiliary bishops and regular meetings with the council of priests. At the level of the universal Church meetings with the consistories of cardinals and the synods of bishops should be “real, not ceremonial consultations.” In the same vein, following an explicit desire of the pre-conclave general congregations he installed a council of cardinals. It should again become clear that the curia is “at the service of pope and bishops.” An investigation of doubts raised on the orthodoxy of certain writings better takes place “by the local bishops’ conferences, which can get valuable assistance from Rome.” The Catholic Church could learn much from the way synodality is exercised among the Orthodox churches. When asked about the way towards unity, the pope’s response reflects the same understanding of catholicity: “We must walk united with our differences: there is no other way to become one. This is the way of Jesus.” 3 How is the teaching of Pope Francis on catholicity received and what is expected in the future? The words and deeds of pope Francis have of course widely been commented upon in books and articles. The monographs on Francis which appeared till now are biographical by nature and pay great attention to the changes in his leadership style from being an authoritarian young provincial and, in the words of Paul Vallely’s Pope Francis: Untying the Knots “the scourge of Liberation Theology” 11 , to becoming a much more pastorally sensitive archbishop of Buenos Aires. According to this well-received book Jorge Mario in an ecumenical council. In addition to these, there is the providential development of episcopal conferences, which are not mere administrative conveniences but a reflection of the communion of the local churches in a region or country and a manifestation of the diversity and catholicity of the Church.” 11 Paul Vallely, Pope Francis: Untying the Knots , London, Bloomsbury, 2013, p. 115.