During the Consistory, the intervention of a cardinal focused precisely on the question of episcopal potestas.
The bishop’s potestas (power) is reduced only to sacred matters and no longer to the authority given by the sacrament of Holy Orders.
In that case, the sacrament is somehow emptied of meaning: The risk, said the cardinal, is the eventual desacralization of the sacrament tout court.
“Today, the power of priests is only over sacred things, but how big is the step to a stage where even sacred questions can be entrusted to lay people?”
On the purely canonical issue, another cardinal pointed out that the same code allows the laity to “cooperate” with the government. However, the report by Bishop Mellino maintains that this cooperation must be understood as actual participation.
This interpretation might go beyond the spirit of the Code of Canon Law. The cooperation of the laity in the power of government is considered a derogation, but now it has become a possible…