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Document Details :
Title: Une crise entre le centre et la périphérie de l'Église dans l'histoire d'une visite du Cardinal L.-J. Suenens au Vatican, en mars 1969
Author(s): KASPRZAK, Artur A.
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 92 Issue: 2 Date: 2016
The author examines the personal history of Cardinal Léon-Joseph Suenens, archbishop of the diocese of Malines-Bruxelles at the time of the crisis which followed the Council Vatican II. Based on Suenens’ exceptional testimony of his visit at the Vatican in March 1969, the study sheds a new light on the different positions in the periphery and in the centre of the Church concerning the question of how to approach the post-council crisis. The analysis of the attitude of Suenens allows us to consider his nature as a pastor, well aware of the signs of the time, but also his character as a strategist. The primacy of Belgium was interested in the preparation of the Synod of October 1969 and the implementation of the Episcopal collegial structure. However, its concept of the interpretation of the collegial authority as co-responsibility was not well received within the Roman Curia. The audience with Pope Paul VI showed a major divergence on how to lead the Church: from the centre, with diplomatic steps and a certain mistrust towards a dialogue with the periphery, or rather, starting from the periphery and in a collegial way? The essay offers new elements for responding to these problems from an historical and theological point of view.