Both Catholic papers had writes ups on the Suwon diocesan change for the governing of the diocese. Since 2006 the diocese was divided into 6 vicariates with deaneries. They have now taken the diocese pastored by the ordinary and divided the diocese into two vicariates with deaneries. The two bishop auxiliaries will have the pastoral responsibility under the ordinary in the two vicariates.
In the past the deans where elected by the members of the deanery but the bishop of the diocese will now appoint the dean and the parish in which he resides will be the seat for the deanery.
This is a change in an effort to become closer to the people, priests and religious. The diocese has over 900 thousand believers and over 500 priests and 214 parishes. Editorials and articles are hoping that the efforts do produce fruit.
One editorial saw the diocese stripping an old frame and making a new one. To summarize the characteristics of the new frame—small diocese, strong vicariate, and lively parishes.
The two auxilary bishops will take the place of the 6 vicariate priests who were the vicars. One vicariate has 110 parishes and 11 deaneries and the other one has 10 deaneries and 104 parishes.
The intention is to make the communication between the pastors, religious and people and the bishop smoother and easier. Efforts to decentralize are for better use of the personnel—more effectual on the pastoral level. The vicariates will have autonomy to set up their own offices for vocations and public relations and other offices they feel necessary.
The ordinary of the diocese has explained that with any change there is always some difficulty and they should be prepared to deal with the problems. With cooperation and working together, the goal is to give vitality to the parishes. Each vicariate has the freedom to be creative. The diocese is working at reform and renewal and the bishop of the diocese hopes difficulties encountered will not discourage but challenge and encourage them.
The ordinary in the message for the 50th anniversary of the diocese stressed that communication and participation as two important categories on which to work." Before us, both within and outside, we have challenges and critical situations to face but we need to face them head on for our work of evangelization.
With Pope Francis we are seeing steps taken for a decentralization of the work of the church away from the Vatican. There are dangers in everything we do but the attempts of being a more listening and closer to the sheep type community is all for the good and hopefully, success will inspire other dioceses to attempt renewal in their governing.