Changes ahead in the Roman Curia?

Changes ahead in the Roman Curia?

A two-sentence communiqué from the Vatican today contained an important signal about Pope Francis’ intentions regarding the Roman Curia.

As is normal, the new pope has confirmed that Vatican officials will continue in their various positions donec aliter provideatur – “until otherwise provided.”

What was different this time around was the line that followed: “The Holy Father, in fact, wants to take a certain time for reflection, prayer and dialogue before making any definitive appointments or confirmations.”

That seemed a clear indication that changes are coming, and perhaps big ones, in the Vatican lineup.

As my friend Alessandro Speciale pointed out to me, when Pope Benedict was elected eight years ago, he issued a statement that re-appointed Cardinal Angelo Sodano as secretary of state, reconfirmed the secretaries of Vatican departments in their five-year terms and pretty much left everyone else in place, too.

Pope John Paul II took a similar approach. The idea was to reassure the Vatican bureaucracy that a new pope posed no threat to the existing order in the Roman Curia.

Look for something different from Pope Francis.

4 comments (Add your own)

1. Jeff Hensley wrote:
John, I'd imagine it would be hard to understate how many and how broad-ranging are the surprises for the Curia and the entire Vatican staff. I can hardly wait for the reaction to his (I'm certain) invitation of the poor to table, not at a homeless shelter, but at his personal dining table. There will be surprises!

Sat, March 16, 2013 @ 5:13 PM

2. Deacon John M. Bresnahan wrote:
Unfortunately, few people realize that our new pope has chosen to name himself after an ordained permanent deacon. St. Francis of Assisi did not want to be elevated to the priesthood, but wanted to be able to read the Gospel at Mass. So he allowed himself to be ordained a deacon.

Sat, March 16, 2013 @ 5:32 PM

3. Jim McCrea wrote:
May Francis be a two-eyed man in the land of the blind!

Sat, March 16, 2013 @ 6:01 PM

4. Jim McCrea wrote:
I understand that Cdl Bergoglio was a Cardinal deacon.

Tue, March 19, 2013 @ 6:29 PM

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