COLLEGIALITY OF BISHOPS
POST VATICAN II
While supposedly always a Roman Catholic doctrine, this was defined in
Vatican II where it was maintained that the bishops of the world formed a
"College of Bishops" and had real rights of expression and authority,
although always subserviebnt to the Pope.
A number of more progressive bishops tried to flex their muscles at a
bishops/' synod in Rome in 1980. The results are in the following news
stories, both from the San Jose, CA MERCURY.
10/1/80. "An Italian cardinal Tuesday criticized a proposal by an
American archbishop to review and possibly update the church's ban on
artificial birth control. `I listened to a discourse asking for a new study
on Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI's encyclical banning artificial
contraceptives. I consider the document closed,' said Cardinal Pericle
Felici, 69, a member of the Roman Curia.
"Archbishop John Quinn of San Francisco had called for a new study on
the church's doctrine of birth control and sexuality. Quinn had said the
`crisis of faith' of birth control was immmense. `Approaches found in the
manuals and in pre-Vatican II authors are not adequate for the present
situation. New approcaches must be found which are compatible with fidelity
to truth and with the changed situation in the modern world,' Quinn said.
" The most forceful criticism came from Cardinal George Basil Hume
(England), who said that many `good, conscientious and faithful' Catholics
could nnot accept the church's total ban on artificial birth control. `It
cannot be just said that these persons have failed to overcome their huyman
frailty and weakness; the problem is more complex than that,' Hume said.
`Archbishop Joeseph Bernardin of Cincinnati (now Cardinal in Chicago)
told the synod, `A new, more positive theology of sexuality is necessary.'"
10/2/80. "`Neither In now the American Bishops' Conference reject or
challenge the doctrine of the Catholic Church on contraception,' said
Quinn. `The intent of my speech was to suggest possible ways of making the
church's teaching on contraception better understood and more widely
acceptable,' said Quinn."
It is clear that the Bishops thought the "collegiality of bishops" gave
them permission to contribute actively to the Roman Catholic moral
teachings such as Birth Control. Very quickly, however, a member of the
Curia set them straight and the following day Archbishop Quinn reversed his
statment to fit in to the wishes of the Curia.
The Bishops found out that they could say whatever they wanted to say,
as long as they said what ther pope wants them to say.
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