Constitutional Catholicism: An Essential in Reforming the Church

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Constitutional Catholicism: An Essential in Reforming the Church

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This book is written for loyal Catholics. Its thesis is quite simple: The history of the Catholic Church teaches us that if we do not get the reforms made in the Church—locally, nationally, universally—enacted into the Law of the Church, they will soon be dismantled. We older Catholics who experienced Vatican Council II (1962-65) know “in our bones” the subsequent devastating disappointment of having its liberating renewal and reform crushed and blotted out! We experienced that even though the Vatican II reforms were passed by the bishops, they were no match for the tenacious resistence of the bureaucracy (Curia). They will have a chance of coming back and being there for our grandchildren only if they are protected by a rising series of written Constitutions.

I say a rising series of written Constitutions because, although Pope Paul VI called for a universal Constitution for the Church in 1965, and his Commission worked on it for 15—only to be summarily dismissed by Pope John Paul II in 1980—we cannot look for leadership from the top. It can only come from below. You! Starting with Local/Parish written Constitutions. Then when there are a few far-sighted and courageous bishops, it can move onto the diocesan level, and thence to the national and finally universal level—as the pope called for.

Here is a small Catholic handbook that not only provides all the reasons scripturally, theologically, historically why democratic structures may properly exist in the Catholic Church (they existed there before!), as all the bishops and the pope mandated in Vatican II, but also concrete practical steps how make them once again realities one step at a time— from below, starting at your local/parish level.

A vital key to an accountable, transparent, Catholic Church for mature persons—the laity is no longer an unlettered flock of sheep, but a responsible community of mature adults—is the creation of, and living by, a written Constitution from the local to the universal level. The Pope called for a Catholic Constitution. We have to make it happen!

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