The Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium in the light of power and participation at Francisco Suárez SJ (1548-1617)
Schlagworte:Macht, Praedicate Evangelium, Potestas, Francisco Suárez
The apostolic constitution Praedicate Evangelium is part of a series of documents on the reform of the roman curia that were promulgated in the past 500 years. In a first wave of commentaries, special focus is given to the possibility of appointing laypeople to leadership positions in the roman curia sparking an old discussion on ecclesiastical power and participation of laypeople in ecclesiastical leadership. As a fundamental canonistic-historical contribution, this article wants to focus on the thought of Jesuit scholar Francisco Suárez SJ (1548-1617) on ecclesiastical power and participation. Known as doctor eximius, Suárez has essentially influenced the moral theological and canonistic literature of the past centuries (Virt) and shares not only the name with Pope Francis, but also the membership in the Society of Jesus. Suárez writes furthermore in a time that experienced with Immensa Aeterni Dei (1588) a curial reform as well. Interestingly, the Jesuit allocates the power of orders and power of governance not only to two different types of law - the New law and Canon Law -, but subordinates with his concept of the sacra potestas the latter similarly as in Praedicate Evangelium to the overall mission of the Church. In doing so, he goes a middle way between contradicting opinions, arguing ultimately for the possibility of laypeople to take over power of governance in the context of a missionary pragmatism. The analysis of Suárez can thus show that Praedicate Evangelium not only stands on traditional ground, but also, that the power of governance as in this apostolic constitution was already similarly thought during the first curial reform by Suárez in the Thomistic tradition.