Responsive image
Nederlands/Vlaams Deutsch Francais English language Spanish language Portuguese language Catalan Chinese Czech Malayalam Finnish Igbo
Japanese Korean Romanian Malay language Norwegian Swedish Polish Swahili Chichewa Tagalog Urdu
documenting the abuse of authority in the Catholic Church


Abuse of authority in the Catholic Church



The appointment of 'party-line' bishops

Originally a bishop was appointed over a diocese by the local church. The role played by the Pope in Rome has grown over the centuries. At times, the influence of Rome has been beneficial to a local church. But in recent years the Pope has abused his role by systematically selecting only candidates who are anti-reform.

Online documentation

Books about this in print

  • Theological Faculty of Tuebingen (Hans Küng), Bishops and People, Westminster Press 1970.


The suppression of the rights of Bishops' Conferences, the Synod of Bishops and individual bishops

As a check against excessive centralisation of all power in Rome, the Second Vatican Council laid down the rights and duties of Bishops' Conferences for ruling the Church in each country It also established the Synod of Bishops with the express purpose of provinding a counter-balance against the Vatican Congregations.

Australian Bishop William Morris, who publicly questioned the Church's rejection of married priests and women priests, tells the story of his dismissal.

Online documentation

  • The Synods of Bishops, which were instituted by the Vatican Council to curb curial monopoly, have been deprived of any real influence by a rigging of the agenda, by saturating committees with members of the Roman Curia, by a subtle censorship of bishops' contributions, by selectively omitting resolutions voted on by the bishops. This has been documented in detail for the Synod on the Family. Similar manipulations took place at the Synods on Evangelisation, on the Laity, on Africa, on Asia, on Europe, to mention but a few (see The Tablet, correspondence 16 Oct - 20 Nov 1999).
  • Theologians and the Magisterium, by Richard A. McCormick. From Corrective Vision, Explorations in Moral Theology, Sheed & Ward, 1994, Chapter 7.
  • Violence in the Church, by Fr. Camilo Macisse (2003).
  • The Wilkinson Report, on the shortage of priests the Catholic Church is facing in Australia.

Books about this in print

  • J. Grootaers and J. A. Selling, The 1980 Synod of Bishops On the Role of the Family, Louvain 1983, 375 pages.



For a new vision, see: Authority in the Catholic Church

Wijngaards Institute for Catholic ResearchThis website is maintained by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research.

The Institute is known for issuing academic reports and statements on relevant issues in the Church. These have included scholars' declarations on the need of collegiality in the exercise of church authority, on the ethics of using contraceptives in marriage and the urgency of re-instating the sacramental diaconate of women.

Visit also our websites:Women Deacons, The Body is Sacred and Mystery and Beyond.

You are welcome to use our material. However: maintaining this site costs money. We are a Charity and work mainly with volunteers, but we find it difficult to pay our overheads.

Visitors to our website since January 2014.
Pop-up names are online now.

The number is indicative, but incomplete. For full details click on cross icon at bottom right.

Please, support our campaign
for women priests
Join our Women Priests' Mailing List
for occasional newsletters:
An email will be immediately sent to you
requesting your confirmation.