The Office of Bishop in the Thought of Pope Francis
The adoption of the synodal pathway, if confirmed by the bishops meeting in Synod in the autumn of 2023 and embraced by the worldwide Church, promises to re-configure most of the relationships in the hierarchical and juridical pyramid which heretofore defined the Catholic Church. If the voice of parishioners is to dictate the tenor of conversation at the base, then the relationship between people and pastor may be changed as a result, even if only subtly. One can legitimately expect a domino effect on the relationship between parish clergy and their bishops, between individual bishops and their national/regional episcopal conferences, and especially when they are gathered in formal synodal assembly (i.e. Synod of Bishops) between bishops and the Bishop of Rome.