India: Theologian Reflects on Synodal Pathway -Leadership. Part 2
Barring a few exceptions, by and large, the quality of leadership went down and has now become bland and uninspiring. The criteria for the selection of bishops have changed considerably. During the period immediately after Vatican II, bishops were selected based on their ability to carry out the decisions and teachings of the council. Their openness to the world and their pastoral aptitude also were considered.
Now, the criteria have changed, and the basic question seems to be the loyalty of the prospective bishops. What are his views on sexual morality, reproductive issues or communism? The primary concern was not pastoral quality but hierarchical loyalty. So, unfortunately, the last two pontificates produced bishops in this way. So, most of the current Asian Church leaders don’t represent the needs of their people and it is not what is required to face the political situations in various Asian nations.
Now, there is another reason: a deliberate attempt to control Asian theologians and theological thinking. For example, the excommunication of Father Tissa Balasuriya of Sri Lanka showed the extent of concern and visceral fear about what is happening in Asia, especially from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. In hindsight it looks like shadow boxing.