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Pope's team of eight to start scrutiny of the Curia

Pope has called for 'a real, not ceremonial consultation'

Pope's team of eight to start scrutiny of the Curia

Picture: AFP Photo/Vincenzo Pinto

Andrea Tornielli for Vatican Insider/La Stampa
Vatican City

April 17, 2014

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From 28 to 30 April Francis’ eight cardinal advisors will be discussing the reform of the dicasteries.

They are expected in the Vatican at the end of next week, before the ceremony for the canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II, set for Sunday 27 April. Straight after this, on Monday 28, Francis’ team of eight cardinal advisors will reopen the dossier on Curia reform and will begin examining each of the Pontifical Councils, weighing up all the various proposals for mergers and changes.

The issue of Curia reform was put on hold in the past few months because last February, the eight-member group of cardinal advisors (the C8) was looking into the Vatican’s finances and economy. It implemented the proposal put forward by one of the referring commissions, involving the establishment of a Secretariat for the Economy, essentially a centralized “ministry of finance” in charge of staff and spending. The Pope chose Australian cardinal George Pell as head of this new structure and Mgr. Alfred Xuereb – who up until a few days ago was Francis’ personal secretary – as number two man.

That same month (February), the C8 also dealt with IOR reform, responding to the report issued by the commission for reference headed by Cardinal Raffaele Farina.

Now the three-day meeting at the end of April and the four-day meeting this coming July will focus on the proposals regarding the Congregations and Pontifical Councils. These proposals range from the creation of a new figure, the “moderator Curiae” who would coordinate the work of the various dicasteries, to the establishment of a Congregation for the Laity, which would incorporate some of the Pontifical Councils.

The C8 will try to sort through the – according to many - excessive number of currently existing offices, with a view to streamline the Curia and cut the red tape. Francis himself said that “the consultation group of eight cardinals, this ‘outsider’ advisory group, is not only my own decision, but it is the result of the will of the cardinals, as it was expressed in the general congregations before the conclave. And I want to see that this is a real, not ceremonial consultation.”

Full Story: After discussing the Vatican's finances, C8 cardinals move onto Curia reform

Source: Vatican Insider/La Stampa

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