The problem with national bishops’ conferences

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Fr Blake goes on to quote the present Pope, who over two decades ago said: “The decisive new emphasis on the role of the bishops is in reality restrained or actually risks being smothered by the insertion of bishops into episcopal conferences that are ever more organised, often with burdensome bureaucratic structures. We must not forget that the episcopal conferences have no theological basis, they do not belong to the structure of the Church, as willed by Christ, that cannot be eliminated; they have only a practical, concrete function.” (The Ratzinger Report, 59-61)