Enzo Bianchi — appointed on July 22 as consultor of the Pontificial Council for Promoting Christian Unity — said the Pope could allow a council of bishops, including Greek Orthodox bishops, to assist in governing the Church, the Catholic News website reports today (August 3, 2014).
Reform of the Synod of Bishops and the growth of synodality within the Catholic Church would greatly enhance the opportunity for union between Rome and the Orthodox churches by making the papacy less “monarchical” and the Catholic Church less centralized.
Bianchi — Prior of the Bose monastery in northeast Italy — said: “I believe that the pope wants to achieve unity by reforming the papacy.”
Pope Francis feels that union with the Orthodox Churches in particular is “an urgent goal,” Bianchi emphasized. “I believe that the Pope has one particular concern, that unity should not be achieved in the spirituality of unity but rather is a command by Christ which we must carry out,” he told the Italian daily “La Stampa.”
Reform would involve a new balance between collegiality and primacy, Bianchi explained. “The Orthodox have synodality, but not primacy. We Catholics have primacy but a lack of synodality.”