THE Vatican Council's decision on episcopal collegiality will not in any way alter the Pontiff's exercise of authority, an Italian archbishop has said. But a Protestant observer has commented that the college "will introduce democracy into a monarchy."
Archbishop Pietro Parente, assessor of the Congregation of the Holy Office, wrote recently that the term "college", used in the council's Constitution of the Church, does not imply the "juridical concept of the group of equal members".
"It is quite clear," he said, "that as the apostolic college included the apostles with Peter as their head, the episcopal college includes all bishops with the Pontiff at their head. But so far as the exercise of authority is concerned, only the Roman Pontiff is the judge." Dr. Oscar Cullman, a Protestant theologian who has been attending the Vatican Council, said in Switzerland recently that "the Catholic Church can well renew itself, but not in all respects. Episcopal collegiality is a case in point," he said. "It has been adopted in principle and by its means democracy can be introduced into a monarchy-which on the strength of the decisions of Vatican Council I, only can be a monarchy."
• VATICAN CITY The secular press coverage of the Vatican Council's Third Session has been criticised by Pope Paul. In saying that the "great press" had lowered the tone of reporting the Third Session the Pope was probably referring to the great emphasis placed on the upheaval of the Session's last three days.
Cardinal Bea, president of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, told Germans during Unity Week not to judge the Third Session by the last few days.
He asked that the Session be measured by the decrees on ecumenism, on Eastern Churches, and on the nature of the Church.
• SPAIN The majority of Spanish bishops favour religious liberty f o r Protestants-and the majority of Spain's Catholics consider the Vatican Council "progressive".
Dr. W. A. Visser 't Hooft, secretary general of the World Council of Churches, said in Nigeria last week that he had received reports that the majority of Spanish bishops favour the legislation being considered. He deplored, however, the inaction on religious freedom to date. The poll among Spain's Catholics on their opinion of the Vatican Council, conducted by the National Council for Catholic Action, reports that 55 per cent of the country followed Council reports regularly. Of these, 73 per cent considered the Council "progressive".
• UNITED STATES
Church law in America forbids Catholic children from attending non-Catholic schools. But it should he repealed, states Jesuit magazine,
America said it does not question the desirability of parochial education-but the present system creates a false impression, particularly since there is not sufficient space in Catholic schools for the law to be enforced.
• WEST GERMANY
The clement of anxiety and fear should be eliminated in the religious training of children, a German Catholic Archbishop has stated.
Archbishop Lorenz Jaeger of Paderborn said a more positive stress requires a revision not only of the catechism but also confession. He said Christians must first realise natural virtues and true humanity, as Pope John showed by his example.