Bishop Joaquin Piña of Puerto Iguazu, Argentina said this week it’s not up to the bishops to say and do everything in the Church, because priests and the laity also must fulfill their roles.
Speaking on the principle of subsidiarity, “the third pillar upon which the social doctrine of Church rests,” the bishop noted that it means that “a matter that could be resolve at a lower level should not be addressed at a higher one.”
Just as in a federal state the central government should not resolve matters that correspond to the provinces, “so in the Church, it doesn’t fall to the bishop to say and do everything. That’s why we have priests and, why not, the laity,” he stated.
Bishop Piña said the rule of subsidiarity means “helping, facilitating, so that somebody else does it. And not the opposite: absorbing or centralizing everything.”
For example, he said, in a diocese, “we say that the parish must be a ‘community of communities’. It is not good to centralize everything. Of course, it’s obvious that harmony and good organization should prevail,” he added.