Saturday, June 10, 2006

Reflections on the "proper" exercise of papal authority

Amy Welborn, in her June 9, 2006 post to Open Book, reflects on the question: What is the "'proper' exercise of papal authority"?:

The Word on the Pope

This week in his "Word from Rome" column, John Allen reflects on the papal stylings of Benedict:

Benedict XVI, in the language of the guild, is largely a pope for the inside pages.

In Poland, I found myself wondering if this "less is more" style could have ecclesiological consequences -- if Benedict's way of exercising the papacy, quite apart from any explicit teaching, could change the way we think about the pope.

To explore that question, I turned to Richard R. Gaillardetz, who holds the Margaret and Thomas Murray and James J. Bacik Endowed Chair in Catholic Studies at the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. Gaillardetz has written widely on ecclesiological topics, and is a popular speaker on these subjects.
Gaillardetz might be best-known to long time blog readers as the author of a widely-commented on article in America magazine critiquing the "New Apologetics" which was critiqued, in turn by, among others Karl Keating. In a Word from Rome a year ago, Allen summarizes a talk Gaillardetz offered at the LA Religious Ed Congress and talk summarized as well in the LA Lay Catholic Misson (summaries from two different perspectives, to be fair!)

He opines on problematic overreaches of papal authority:

Yet Gaillardetz argued that what he termed the "interventionist practice on the part of the curia" continues apace. He offered three examples:


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