The motu proprio Apostolos suos of S John Paul II regulates Episcopal Conferences and rightly restricts their dogmatic role.
This is on the doctrinal ground that the Universal Church, gathered round the Bishop pf Rome; and the local, diocesan Church gathered round the Bishop; are the only ecclesial realities which exist iure divino. As Cardinal Mueller has explained more than once, Conferences exist only at a human and utilitarian level.
Bound up with this matter is the theological controversy between Cardinals Ratzinger and Kasper about whether the Universal Church, or the Particular Church, has ontological priority. The papal Magisterium of Benedict XVI made clear that it is the Universal Church that has the ontological priority.
Hitherto, PF has refrained from too overtly dismantling the legacy of his predecessor. He has shown a certain Christian tact, even delicacy. This policy is now manifestly being phased out. Is PF in a hurry? It certainly looks like it.
The recent bulletin from the Vatican Press office, summarising the deliberations of the Council of Cardinals, speaks about an intention to "reread" Apostolos suos.
"REREAD"! One thinks of the controlled abuse of language described in George Orwell's 1984, and exemplified in totalitarian societies. The fact that we can turn to an honest Trotskyite reacting against Stalinism for an analysis of how language is now manipulated within the Catholic Church just about, as the phrase has it, says it all.
And the purpose of the current careful demolition of the edifice bequeathed by the last two popes, men of intelligence and distinction, looks to me very much like a desire to transform the Catholic Church into a skilfully crafted copy of the Anglican Communion.
Some of us have been there and seen that. We can tell you all about it. It is a very unwholesome place to be. In Blessed John Henry Newman's words, "The vivifying principle of Truth, the shadow of St Peter, the grace of the Redeemer, left it". No wonder Cardinal Burke, at Buckfast last year, spoke so powerfully about Apostasy.
References: I quoted Mueller at length in my piece of 7 December 2017. On 1 December 2017 I dealt with a very dangerous address by Cardinal Parolin. I suspect that the rationale he offered for Episcopal Conferences having a doctrinal status was a first draft of what will be inflicted upon us in the name of PF. Parolin is not, I feel, a man to be trusted with the Catholic Faith.