“The Second Vatican Council stated that, like the ancient patriarchal Churches, episcopal conferences are in a position ‘to contribute in many and fruitful ways to the concrete realization of the collegial spirit. Yet this desire has not been fully realized, since a juridical status of episcopal conferences which would see them as subjects of specific attributions, including genuine doctrinal authority, has not yet been sufficiently elaborated. Excessive centralization, rather than proving helpful, complicates the Church’s life and her missionary outreach.”
Episcopal Conferences are not decentralising from the Pope, or not only so, they are centralising from Individual Bishops to other than the Pope. And other than other individuals than the Pope. To other than a person sitting down to think, namely to a conference sitting down to talk.
I am reminded of what Fr. Bryan Houghton called the new culture of episcopal conferences and diocesan synods and other things taking away from individual not just Popes, but also Bishops and Curates and perhaps even simple Chaplains responsibility which they should be exrcising individually, as persons, and not collectively as "conferences". He called this new culture something which in his own French translation was "l'Église du Bavardage" and which in the English original might have been "The Church of Babbling".
This may not be Marxism, but it is very certainly not Traditional Catholic doctrine about how Pastoral and Definition of Doctrine is done. I wonder if "Church of Babbling" is not synonymous with "Harlot of Babylon". It is not what I was trying to get part of while converting from Protestantism. It is rather a bit like Protestantism chasing me inside the Catholic Church I took refuge to. And not even the best of it.
St Lazarus of Marseille
brother of Sts Mary and Martha