After St. Paul had founded the Church in Corinth, spending a year and a half there, Apollos, a scholarly Christian from Alexandria, settled in Corinth, building up a following of Christians who preferred his Christian approach to that of Paul’s.
On hearing of this split between the Christians in Corinth, Paul called it unchristian behavior. He said he and Apollos didn’t matter. All that mattered was that Christians be followers of Christ who wants us to live in harmony, putting up with each other’s different views.
Fifty years ago, during Vatican II, the German and Eastern Europe bishops wanted to hold on to those traditions that gave bishops and the clergy a status above that of ordinary Christians. The French bishops along with many of the third-world bishops were more for promoting the dignity of every person created in God’s image. The two sides saw the value of the opposite point of view, and that allowed them to produce beautiful compromise documents that offended no one.
Back then, I argued strongly for seeing the clergy as having a status above that of the laymen. I remember objecting to laymen writing books on Catholic subjects. I complained about them not leaving religious topics to the religious professionals. In that I think I was sharing the views of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. Now, we are under Pope Francis I, and more progressive views might receive a hearing.