Monday, 8 April 2013

Will Pope Francis finally break the power of the Curia?

 Chiesa is carrying an interesting take on Pope Francis' subtle, but recent decisions. These are the real issues, not the Pope's choice in shoes, nor, for that matter his use of Crozier. The real direction of the Bergoglio Pontificate will be seen in his ability (or inability) to break the decades long corruption in the Roman Curia. 

The Chiesa perspective on the role of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith nneds more clarity. The article is correct in that the power of dealing with dissidents should be at the local episcopal level. Nonetheless - perhaps this is implied - the CDF plays a vital role in ensuring the Papal voice is heard on doctrinal matters for the universal Church. The only way a true reform of the Curia will happen is with - as I have mentioned before - is a change in governance legislation, revoking Pastor Bonus for the era of John Paul II. There will also be the question of a major house cleaning of the various nuncios. Until the nature and role of the Secretary of State is formalized, the Papacy will be an ongoing battle between the Pope and the Secretariat (with the Pope coming out the loser).  In all, a very interesting read. 

In addition to the unprecedented selection of the name Francis, pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio is immediately impressing on the central government of the Church innovations that those in the curia are looking at with trepidation, if not with terror.

The decision not to live in the pontifical apartment on the third floor of the Apostolic Palace but to continue to reside in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, which had accommodated him as a cardinal during the conclave, is already in itself an act of rupture.

In practice, this allows the new pope to remove himself physically from the bureaucratic pressure that - if he were to move up there - would risk turning his life upside down and suffocating his effective capacity of governance.

It would be interesting to know if and to what extent there has already been a reduction in the volume and weight of the briefcases of documents that the secretariat of state customarily brings to the desk of the pope to submit to him texts for study, approval, endorsement, etc.

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