Paul Collins, recently queried by the Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has received generous media coverage (e.g., The Weekend Australian, 24-25 March).
Collins complains about "centralisation of power" in the Church and claims that discipline such as he received negates "the spirit of the Second Vatican Council".
Logically speaking, none of this works - even if the superficial attractiveness of his ideas may confuse some. But his arguments are torpedoed by the fact that Vatican II itself emphasises that "the Church is hierarchical". A chapter headed by those very words occupies 18 pages of the Council's documents.
The Church never was a democracy. It claims that its ultimate Head is God, who chooses to reveal Himself through a Church which teaches from the top down.
Millions of people around the world find that the Church - yes, the disciplining, "centralised" Church - enables them to experience God's truth and grace, plus the hope of eternal closeness to God.
ARNOLD JAGO (DR)