Over at Pray Tell they are getting excited about Pope Francis' ambition to 'decentralise'. But what does this mean?
They give the example of the translations of the liturgy. In the good old days, before the bad old Pope John Paul II (they say), the Bishops Conferences of the English-speaking world could propose a translation and Rome could say 'no': which, of course, they did. Now, Rome proposes a translation and the Bishops' conference then votes on it (they said 'yes').
I'm afraid I can't summon up much outrage about this. The notion of some body theoretically answerable to the Bishops' Conferences of the entire Anglosphere being 'decentralised' is pretty ludicrous. And if a system doesn't work, that seems a good reason to try something else.
They are clearly a bit stuck for examples, so they turn to Summorum Pontificum.
'In another decision with implications for the relationship between Rome and bishops, the 2007 moto proprio Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict gives every priest the right to celebrate Mass according to the books in use before the Second Vatican Council, taking this decision out of the hands of the local bishop who previously had to give his permission.'
Is this supposed to be an example of centralisation? To devolve authority from bishops to parish priests?
In fact of course Rome was heavily involved in the question of the Vetus Ordo before Summorum Pontificum - far too involved. We now know that the indults and celebrets coming from Rome pre-Summorum Pontificum were legally pointless as well as time-consuming and complicated.
Pray Tell's attitude is revealing. This is the blog above all which represents the lay and clerical apparatchiks of the Church's bureaucracy. These are the guys who advised the Bishops so brilliantly, over the decades, on how to cover up clerical abuse, how to wreck irreplaceable historic buildings, and how to give in to abortion, euthanasia, and gay marriage. Some bishops resisted this better than others, but there is no mistaking the culture of the machine with which they had to deal.
Now they are complaining when power is taken away from them. It doesn't matter where it goes: to Rome, to parish priests, or to bishops who tell them to get lost. They say the first is 'centralisation', they say the last is 'clericalism', and they say the second is just bad.
Well, their time is drawing to an end.