Monday, May 18, 2015

Changing models?

There is a perception abroad, especially prevalent among priests and nuns, and even a bishop or two, that the Catholic Church is busy changing models. Apparently we are rethinking, upgrading, reshaping, modernising the Church established by Jesus. We are moving from a hierarchical model to a collaborative model of Church. Really? Well, I don’t know about we but I have no intention of changing anything that doesn't belong to me.

For a start, the Catholic Church is not working under a hierarchical model. The Catholic Church is hierarchical in its very constitution. Just check Chapter 3 of Lumen Gentium, under the heading The Church is Hierarchical, if you are in some doubt about this. Moreover, because the Church is hierarchical everything within the Church is hierarchical – relationships, ministry, leadership, authority, service, truth, and communion.

When someone gets up and speaks about the Catholic Church operating under a hierarchical model it’s as silly as saying we humans are operating under a body model. Body is how we were created. If we don’t have a body we are not human. It’s as simple as that.

If we can convince people the Church is operating under a hierarchical model we are then ready to take the next step and change to another model - and this is usually the democratic model or, as some like to call it, the collaborative model. The only problem with these two models is that they are not compatible with the hierarchical constitution Jesus gave his Church.

So let’s get with it. No more time-wasting nonsense about changing what is not ours to change and what is, in essence, impossible to change. How about a little hierarchical leadership to bring us into hierarchical communion with the leader of the hierarchy of heaven and earth – the Lord and Master?


  1. What we are becoming is a "bottom up" rather than a "top down" church (at least in the thinking of some of the people.)

    We have lost our sense of obedience to the “pecking order.” Unfortunately, the laity witnesses the Bishops ignoring Rome so the priests ignore the Bishops, except when to do so would cost them their position, and downhill it rolls.
    They laity fail to realize that authority comes from God.

  2. I think part of the problem is people think that obedience enslaves us when in fact it does the opposite. Obedience is freeing and makes us aware of the right decision to make. I cannot imagine trying to know the mind of God and how I should live without someone like the church to tell me.

    As an aside, I have tagged you Fr. Please see my blog for details.