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The Long Shadow of Vatican IiLiving Faith and Negotiating Authority since the Second Vatican Council$
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Lucas Van Rompay, Sam Miglarese, and David A Morgan

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469625294

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469625294.001.0001

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The Exercise of Ecclesial Authority in Light of Vatican II

The Exercise of Ecclesial Authority in Light of Vatican II

(p.58) 3 The Exercise of Ecclesial Authority in Light of Vatican II
The Long Shadow of Vatican Ii

Catherine E. Clifford

University of North Carolina Press

This essay takes a broad look at the concept and the exercise of authority in the Catholic tradition and then focuses on the process of decision making during the Council, leading to the Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium) and to the Decree on bishops (Christus Dominus). While these documents mark a definitive shift to a more collegial and less monarchical structure of authority, the postconciliar implementation has been difficult and inconclusive. Fifty years after the Council the Church still does not have a system in place that fully honors episcopal collegiality. In his first statements and initiatives Pope Francis has shown his commitment to redressing an overly centralized mode of church governance and to creating more room for decision making on the level of national and regional conferences of bishops.

Keywords:   Church authority, Pope and bishops, Leadership and collegiality, Dialogue in the Church, Participation of the faithful, Lumen Gentium, Christus Dominus

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