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Church House, Rome,

2013 October 20
by Gordon Reid

Pope Francis is  quietly beginning to reform the Curia and the Vatican, and God bless him for this  much-needed clean-up. But I believe he may be looking to a much greater and  earth-shattering reform – the abolition of  the Vatican as a political entity.

I believe that, if he  has time in the years ahead, he may declare the fiction that his square mile of Rome is a separate country is just that. He has emphasized already that he is first and foremost Bishop of Rome, and not the quasi-monarch of a secular state.

Francis supports the Second Vatican Council’s decree that Bishops’ Conferences in every part of the world should be strengthened and encouraged to govern their own churches, and to adapt the faith to the needs of their own parts of the word. The logical corollary of this is that the  aping of secular states, with “embassies” from the King to the local King, are absurd and disrespectful to the legitimate authority of the local Bishops. In the past, they have often been seen as “spies” for the Curia. What better sign of the support of the Pope for the principle of collegiality, than the closing of all Nunciatures, and the declaration that communication between the Pope and the local Bishops needs no Curia-trained  middle-men.

A wonderful side effect of this would be the enormous reduction in costs for the RC Church in not having to maintain such vastly expensive residences for Nuncios and their staff. It would be a prophetic gesture for Pope Francis to declare that the hundreds of millions of dollars that  would be raised by the selling off of such properties would be earmarked for Catholic charities that work for the poor and needy.

I doubt if Pope Francis reads my blog, but I know of at least one cardinal who does, so who knows? I doubt too that he needs an Anglican to instruct him, but if you see the next encyclical called “Casa Ecclesiae, Roma”, you will read on with mounting excitement!

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Murray Small permalink
    October 22, 2013

    Fr. Gordon you offer a breathtaking wind of fresh air to a possible vision of what the Church of Rome could be, perhaps a Patriarchy of the West,dare one say with Episcopal autonomy without Curial kingship.This would be a big stretch for Rome as its polity has been rock hard for centuries.
    It is that very polity that has been a stumbling block for itself and the rest of Christendom outside the Chair of Peter. I misspeak;Christendom was one defined as the Church Catholic & Apostolic in communion with the Bishop of Rome.
    For Anglicans a major stumbling block in Rome’s polity has been and is “Apostolicae Curae”.This was a classical piece of political play driven by English R.C. bishops at the time who felt threatened by recognition of Anglican Orders would threaten the re-establishment of the English R.C. hierarchy at the time.
    When watching EWTN; time and time again one is disappointed that Roman clergy and laity offer apologetics which belong to a Tridentine mind set emanating from the ongoing polity of Rome;as if Vatican 11 never happened.I speak not of liturgical re-arrangements, but rather of much more fundamental matters on which Vatican11 had much to say,old Papal encyclicals are trotted out as if they were rock solid eternal truths.
    Pope Francis’ comments on “Anglicanorum Coetibus” bear this out.
    Pope Francis’ recent comments on Anglican patrimony at a recent luncheon with the ABC can be seen as polite diplomatic chat not a per se endorsement of Anglicanorum Coetibus.
    As an Anglican, Francis bishop of Rome is in my regular prayer cycle that along with all the other bishops Roman/Orthodox& Anglican will rebuild Christs’ Church.May he be given the wisdom, grace and life to be Bishop of Rome as the Holy Spirit so guides the whole church.
    So, Fr. Gordon I warmly welcome your comments.Dare I say it a can of worms has been opened by your blog.
    On purported ” Casa Ecclesiae,Roma” encyclical dare I offer “Rome,Home of the Church” which would probably be more currently Curial speak.
    Many thanks Fr. Gordon;this one is going to run for a while.

  2. Roberto A. Rossetti permalink
    November 5, 2013

    Good Morning, Father Reid,

    I trust that is finds you well. It seems like the last half of October and the beginning of November has been super busy. I want to take advantage of the brief respite. As a former priest, (one that didn´t remain so) I embarked on a career in business. When Iwas in seminary back in the early 60´s I gave my father a 1928 BCP and 1940 hymnal bound in one volume. The book has had constant usage and I have made a number of repairs; the leather covers are separting, many of the pages have been repaired with scotch tape, as is the outside covers.

    While the book is only 54 years old, it looks more like 550 years old. I have lived more than 15 years in El Salvador. My question is (are) , is the Book of Common Prayer and Hymnal, still available? in a single binding, or separate bindings?

    Thank you, Fr., and many blessigs. I hope you´ll have some positve ews for me.

    Sincerely,
    Roberto A. Rossetti

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