Warning against some of the bureaucratic trends of “truth by committee” in the Church’s organisation, Cardinal Burke said, “Simply by the way these conferences work, it can be years before some kind of effective direction is given, and then oftentimes because this direction is discussed and debated, it can get very watered down.”
He emphasized that the involvement of the bishops should be constant, and not merely a matter of issuing a statement once. “We’re not writing term papers here where you make reference to an earlier document and that’s sufficient.” In public life, he said, the message has to be stated and re-stated and kept up to date.
“I think the lay faithful in the parishes and in the dioceses need to go to their bishops and priests and urge them to give that pastoral leadership that they’re called to give on this very critical issue. Yes the laity have their part, a very significant part in all the various areas of public life to give witness to the Gospel but they depend upon their priests and bishops to give that teaching and example, how to confront the situation.”
“They need leadership. That’s what it’s all about.” …(Source)
And herein lies the problem: a false and distorted view of collegiality which destroys the responsibility and duties of an individual bishop. Cardinal Burke has said what everyone else can see. Episcopal conferences have been a noose around the Church’s neck. It’s become a bureaucratic nightmare which has made diocesan bishop nothing more than functionaries of the Borg. If Pope Francis really wants to ignite a revolution in the Church, he can make one simple move that would do it: abolish and forbid these conferences. In a stroke of a pen and the words “You’re on your own, fellas”, we could see a flourishing of the new evangelization overnight.