Wait, what?

I remember when Pat and I used to look at stories like these in a point and laugh manner. But it’s just too pervasive to be funny anymore, isn’t it?

The Catholic Herald UK:

A German cardinal has said names of candidates submitted to the Vatican as potential bishops are being vetoed by “unauthorised people” in Rome.

Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz, who was president of the German bishops’ conference from 1987 to 2008, said: “In the name of the law, these unlawful outside influences must be set aside and a proper voice given to those who’ll be living with the chosen candidate.” …

However, Cardinal Lehmann said he believed the nomination process was being disrupted by people “focused on a strict church policy allowing no deviation” and who had “knowledge of how things work in Rome.”

“Much greater attention should be given to an episcopal candidate’s theological competence than his formal orthodoxy,” said Cardinal Lehmann. “There’s an urgent need for clarification – otherwise, the whole appointment process will come into question.”

Theological competence over formal orthodoxy? What? I don’t even know what that means. I mean, I know what he wants it to mean but the words themselves don’t make sense.

Serious Exit Question: In what way can you judge theological competence other than orthodoxy? What other basis is there?