Religion: Frank Words from the Bishops

Voices of optimism and new ideas at a Vatican synod

One of the most important teachings to emanate from the Second Vatican Council was "collegiality," the concept that bishops collectively govern the Roman Catholic Church in union with the Pope. In a concrete application of that principle, since Vatican II ended in 1965 Popes have periodically summoned synods of bishops to offer advice on issues facing Catholicism. In practice, however, churchwide power is exercised by the Vatican Curia and the Cardinals who supervise its administrative agencies.

At an extraordinary two-week-long synod now meeting in Rome to review the work of Vatican II, collegiality was clearly on the minds of many of...

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