I thought I heard Buddy Bolden shout.
Open up that window, let that bad air out !
Jelly Roll Morton 1938
The new pope Francis got off to a good start.He spoke to all the faithful—and to all people of good will.He knows the Church has no corner on the Divine. It blows where it wills. He asked people to pray for him. He exhibited a new openness, maybe a fresh approach.He appears to be a step beyond the ideological Benedict XVl who countenanced only one theology.
Humility should go with the papacy.It did not with his two successors. Their intellectual abuse of over 100 theologians and teachers was scandalous. Although we have four gospels they accepted only one line—theirs.It was a narrow clerical hierarchical Church .All power stemmed from Rome. Oxygen was sucked out of local dioceses. Because of their lamentable disregard of serious administrative duties they allowed the Curia to claim more power.
The most egregious failure was their betrayal of the Vatican ll vision of the Church as the people of God, a communio. They had total disregard for the sensus fidelium,the Holy spirit who breathes through the entire Catholic people.They made little or no attempt to hear the people choking off valuable experience and insights.As a result people left in droves.In the democracies people quickly turned their backs on a Church which appeared deaf and refused to dialogue. A Roman monologue was substituted for serious dialogue. The sole locus of truth lay in the papal and episcopal Magisterium.This is patently false. Its bad theology and bad theology begets bad practice.The whole church is the bearer of revelation.
The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) states this:
Those who exercise episcope in the Body of Christ must not be separated from the ‘symphony’ of the whole people of God in which they have their part to play. They need to be alert to the sensus fidelium, in which they share, if they are to be made aware when something is needed for the well-being and mission of the community, or when some element of the Tradition needs to be received in a fresh way. (#30)
Contemporary theology tells us that we all share one baptism a participation in the divine wisdom. Each person has a “sensus fidei.” The Church must get a feel for an understanding of the entire faithful (“sensus fidelium”). Cardinal Newman called this the “conspiratio fidelium at pastorum” the breathing together of the faithful and the pastors.”
Now I find out fratello Francis has only one lung.A symbol for the old Church. Maybe we will grow another lung.there is a lot of bad air to exhale.