There is a perception abroad, especially prevalent among priests and nuns, and even a bishop or two, that the Catholic Church is busy changing models. Apparently we are rethinking, upgrading, reshaping, modernising the Church established by Jesus. We are moving from a hierarchical model to a collaborative model of Church. Really? Well, I don’t know about we but I have no intention of changing anything that doesn't belong to me.
For a start, the Catholic Church is not working under a hierarchical model. The Catholic Church is hierarchical in its very constitution. Just check Chapter 3 of Lumen Gentium, under the heading The Church is Hierarchical, if you are in some doubt about this. Moreover, because the Church is hierarchical everything within the Church is hierarchical – relationships, ministry, leadership, authority, service, truth, and communion.
When someone gets up and speaks about the Catholic Church operating under a hierarchical model it’s as silly as saying we humans are operating under a body model. Body is how we were created. If we don’t have a body we are not human. It’s as simple as that.
If we can convince people the Church is operating under a hierarchical model we are then ready to take the next step and change to another model - and this is usually the democratic model or, as some like to call it, the collaborative model. The only problem with these two models is that they are not compatible with the hierarchical constitution Jesus gave his Church.
So let’s get with it. No more time-wasting nonsense about changing what is not ours to change and what is, in essence, impossible to change. How about a little hierarchical leadership to bring us into hierarchical communion with the leader of the hierarchy of heaven and earth – the Lord and Master?