A big problem with liberal Catholics

A big problem with liberal Catholics can be most easily seen when they violate the Doctrine of Subsidiarity:

Subsidiarity was supported as a principle by Pope Pius XI in Quadragesimo Anno, 2 . It was clarified by Pope John Paul II in Centesimus Annus. Subsidiarity teaches that any society works best when decisions are made at the lowest possible level:

“A community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.”

When a bishop wilfully reduces the authority of his parish priests, if only by separating them from him with a needless layer of bureaucracy, he cannot help but be seen as violating a principle upon which the Popes themselves have opined that Church activity is best based. Many are sure to be reminded that the very Founder of their Faith has told us that “a house divided cannot stand.”

To reduce the power of his priests is to reduce his own power, as well, for he is suddenly dependent on a new layer, for instance, a “vicariate”, to get his mission accomplished. It is far better to deal with a hundred priests than with five vicars. The five vicars will quickly organize themselves into at least two factions, each of which will have competing goals. The hundred priests, each busy with the needs of his parish, don’t have the time nor the inclination to organize themselves politically to push agendas that often have little to do with the welfare of the parishioners.

The five vicars, on the other hand, will have little else to do. In fact, they ended up being appointed as vicars because they were politically astute.

The leftmost of them, in fact, are almost certain to enjoy pointing out how their very existence as a vicar makes them a living example of how the bishop has already violated one Catholic Doctrine, so there’s really no good reason why he shouldn’t violate more of them.