Selection of Bshops


Why can’t the laity have a role in the selection of their own Bishops. Currently, bishops are selected by the Vatican Curia and passed on to the Pope for formal selection. This was not always so. Christians at one time had a role in the selection of their bishops. Today, a bishop is chosen for a diocese, who possibly has never been a part of the diocese and is unfamiliar with the people and the parishes. Because of the current way the church selects its future leaders we get Cardinals like McCorrick, who are selected on who they know or been familiar with. This system should end and Catholics need to not only speak up but also demand change. It is our church and not a church for a few who hold power s Rome.


I believe it is not the Curia that selects the Bishops, it is the Holy Spirit who selects the Bishops. Same with the Pope and Cardinals being selected. So people don’t select Bishops, it isn’t like an election. The Holy Spirit inspires fellow priests to select one of their brethren


Oh, please get real. You don’t our church is in crisis. Let’s with John Paul II would refused to acknowledge that priestly abuse took place. I guess that was the Holy Spirit telling him what to do. How about the fact that baptisms fell 75% during his papacy. This is a man that was fast tracked to Sainthood? I accept the teachings of the church in the areas of Jesus, etc but not the rules that have been made by men that need to be changed. Ok, let’s go for some big ones;

  How about a married priesthood.  Some of Jesus’s disciples were married.  In fact it was against Jewish tradition not for a man to be married and have children.  I don’t believe that Jesus required these men to abandon their families.  The real reason for the rule of celibacy is money.  The Dioceses would have to pay a living wage. God created sexi to be encjoyed and as a bonding between men and women.  It is unnatural to impose a rule that forbids sex.  Anyhow, how many priest actually follow this rule.  Additionally, look at the clergy we got, priestly abuse is not new, it only just came out in the open.    It is also likely Jesus had women followers who preached but then history is written by the victors.  What is the reason women can not be priests.  That right the church does not recognize that women are equal.  Jesus never said women could not be priest or even pope.  Here we have in Rome a very small group of men, who keep the laity down and ignorant.  No matter what has been said so far, it is still “Pray, Pay and obey”.  The church is afraid to let the laity have a voice.  The Vatican is more afraid of the questions then the answers.  The church needs to have an open and honest dialogue with its laity and heaven forbid ask them for their ideas on what needs to be done.  Lastly, the question needs to be asked why Catholics in the United States and Western Europe are no longer going to mass.  Could it be the hypocrisy they see in the leaders of THEIR church and the churches refusal to even discuss reform and change.


I understand the desire to see things done differently, and it is true that the selection of bishops has taken different forms in different places over the centuries, but I don’t necessarily think that greater lay involvement in the process would solve all the problems.

Yes, it can often be helpful when a bishop is “homegrown” and is already familiar with the people and needs of a diocese. But, on the other hand, there can also be a fair bit of “no prophet is without honor except in his own home” that takes place in such situations. Further, if a diocese is truly a mess, sometimes you need a more impartial outsider to make the tough decisions.

Not that there aren’t problems that can arise from that, too. My point is that there are going to be pros and cons whatever the approach.


I believe that more involvement of the laity in the direction and governing our church would enable the church to be more responsive to the needs and desires of the people who make up the church. Because someone wears a Roman collar or a Bishops/Cardinal or Popes ring does not make them any more important than the layity. They are human like everyone else. Jesus didn’t tell his apostles that they were better than anyone else. This ides of power is man made. It is time the layity took some of this power back. I see a split in the church if change does not happen, as in the reformation. A church that will have much more involvement of the layity, an end to the mandatory rule of celibacy, the ordination of woman priests and deacons, the acceptance of divorced catholic back into the church. This will happen in the United States, Canada and Western Europe, since the layity in these countries support these changes by a wide margin. Eastern Europe, Africa, and the undeveloped areas of the world will follow a conservative church with little change. These areas have never really known freedom, the right to speak out, protest or question authority figures.


I think this sentiment is what I find most troubling about your suggestion. We shouldn’t be engaged in a “power grab” within the Church. I don’t wish to belong to a Church where whoever is angry enough or yells loud enough is able to wrestle some power for themselves. That’s not the type of leadership that Christ modeled for us.

The laity are already heavily involved, though. For every bishop, there is a chancery full of dozens if not hundreds of lay people. There are no shortage of opportunities for lay people to get involved.


What role are you planning for the laity of the city of Rome when the time comes to select the local bishop?


Human beings select the Bishops and the Pope. We pray that they do this prayerfully and that they are able to discern, however, they have free will when making these selections just like you or me.

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