- May 24, 2020
When Pope Francis goes to Japan, there won’t be any talk of a showdown between the Vatican and a rebellious local church — and that alone is striking.
We’ve had several clear instances just in recent months in which Francis has all but taken over the judgment of a local church, at least on specific matters, issuing orders and drawing lines in the sand.
Although at a symbolic level, Pope Francis’s decision on Saturday to shift considerably more control to local bishops’ conferences and away from the Vatican over translation of liturgical texts into vernacular languages may have been an earthquake, most experts don’t seem to believe it will mean much in the short-term for the prayers American Catholics say at Sunday Mass.
Several Catholic bishops in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous state, have joined mounting calls for a wide decentralization of power in the country, shifting authority to the 36 states, but not every bishop buys it. Bishop Hyacinth Oroko Egbebo says until the corruption problem is solved, it doesn’t much matter who’s making corrupt decisions.