"To the untrained eye, it would seem that the Catholic Church is nothing else but a papal fiat—what the pope commands is law, and in speaking, he creates truth. This, of course, is erroneous. But in a papal-centered Church, where the pope’s every word is broadcasted to billions of people each day, ecclesiology suffers distortion. The image of Pope Francis is found all over parish websites, many …More
"To the untrained eye, it would seem that the Catholic Church is nothing else but a papal fiat—what the pope commands is law, and in speaking, he creates truth. This, of course, is erroneous. But in a papal-centered Church, where the pope’s every word is broadcasted to billions of people each day, ecclesiology suffers distortion. The image of Pope Francis is found all over parish websites, many of which do not even make any mention of the local bishop. It is no surprise that a Church that sees the pope as a divine oracle will abandon, overnight, anything and everything in the Church that came before the current occupant if he so desires. The pope simply says, 'Let there be,' and bureaucratic Church officials make sure it is done."

The Church of the Papal Fiat

In the media frenzy that surrounded Pope Francis in his 2015 visit to the United States, one small feature became a major talking point—the pope’s …