At the Register this week, I write about an idea floated by the German episcopate to go their own way on matters of “pastoral care” and damn what the Universal Church has to say. Trent’s already rendered the verdict on this approach, and pretending “pastoral care” isn’t the same as “discipline” doesn’t make it any less of a schismatic act.
Here’s the beginning:
Gallicanism, and its German sibling Febronianism, was the French notion that regional and state authority and custom have equal or greater authority than that of the pope representing the universal church. It’s not merely an extension of collegiality, but rather a semi-schismatic action that risks full rupture with the one holy Catholic and apostolic church by creating a host of alternate mini-magisteria.
And a version of it seems to be what the German episcopate wants for the Church.
A new history post goes up at the Register every Monday.