The pope's 'reform' project has already begun

The pope's 'reform' project has already begun


  At the Domus, Francis often sits in the back of the chapel to pray

Pope Francis’ reform of the Vatican has already begun.

Not in the way the world was expecting, through high-profile appointments of Roman Curia heads – though that will come in due time.

Instead, the pope has embarked immediately on what might be called “re-evangelization” inside the Vatican walls.

He dropped in today after a Vatican employees’ Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and spoke about the value of work, thanking them for their service and asking them for their prayers because “I am a sinner, too.”

This morning, celebrating Mass for a smaller group of Vatican employees and officials at the Vatican guest house, he gave a short homily on the destructive power of gossip. He said speaking ill of others is a “dark joy” that Christians should resist.

At other liturgies inside the Vatican – attended by everyone from Vatican City garbage-collectors to bank employees – the new pope has spoken about the need for people to open their hearts to those around them and show charity in everything they do.

Even in what might be considered his most formal speech to an audience that included Vatican higher-ups, an address March 15 to cardinals, he emphasized that their friendship and sense of unity rely in great part on “a climate of mutual openness.”

Pope Francis came into the Vatican with a mandate to change the way its bureaucracy functions (or disfunctions), in the wake of scandals, leaks and power struggles that have embarrassed the church. It seems to me that he’s taking that task seriously, by laying the spiritual groundwork for change.

He’s approaching the various Vatican environments not so much as the new boss, but as the new pastor.

I think that’s one big reason why he’s decided to continue to live in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican guest house, instead of moving into the formal papal apartment. In the Domus, he’s a few steps away from St. Peter’s, as well as the Vatican City governor’s office, and his morning liturgies are accessible to Vatican employees.

In the Apostolic Palace, the pope would have been surrounded by Secretariat of State offices and the usual filters. In effect, the Domus provides a much better pastoral base for evangelizing the Vatican.

13 comments (Add your own)

1. annon wrote:
Evangelizing the Vatican! Who would've thought we would even need to do such a thing! May God bless Pope Francis and His Church.

Wed, March 27, 2013 @ 12:24 PM

2. Allwyn Fernandes wrote:
Evangelisation begins at home and by living the faith, not preaching it, seems to be his way!

Wed, March 27, 2013 @ 12:27 PM

3. Dan wrote:
What an ugly chapel and no kneelers. He seems so familiar to anyone active in his or her parish: the pastor who comes in and changes everything and insists on openness and mutuality- except that it's a one way street. I hope I am all wrong about this.

Wed, March 27, 2013 @ 1:42 PM

4. Yae wrote:
"This morning, celebrating Mass for a smaller group of Vatican employees and officials at the Vatican guest house, he gave a short homily on the destructive power of gossip. He said speaking ill of others is a “dark joy” that Christians should resist."

I agree with this one particular point. I am guilty of such. I am also aware that all of us have fallen into this "dark joy" especially since Pope Francis was elected pope. I am trying to avoid further temptation by staying away from certain websites that allow this to happen, Catholic and the like.

Pope Francis is living what he preaches and I like that simple way about him.

Wed, March 27, 2013 @ 2:50 PM

5. Yae wrote:
In this day and age, that what will ignite the faith in those of us who are found wanting...starting with me! Amen!

Wed, March 27, 2013 @ 4:49 PM

6. Brendan Kelleher svd wrote:
I presume that "annon" wrote their remark tongue in cheek. At the core of the spirituality of my own community - a society committed to evangelization, to mission - is a belief that we first need to hear the Word of God as it us preached to us, and that means more than the written word we accept as Scripture. As both the child sex abuse scandal and Vatileaks has revealed the Church as institution can become quite deaf to the Word of God.

Wed, March 27, 2013 @ 5:28 PM

7. marie campbell wrote:
Will His Holiness ever get around to having a word in Cardinal Dolans ear about u know what ? (Public Representives etc., )

Wed, March 27, 2013 @ 6:36 PM

8. Jeremy wrote:
Dan seems so familiar to any priest who's ever served in a parish: someone "active" in the parish and focused on all the peripheral "issues" - lack of kneelers, chapel decor, and - of course - critical of the new pastor - and of course Dan missed the Pope's message about gossip. Oh wait, it surely wouldn't apply to Dan! Better head back to those "super Catholic" blogs, Dan, and vent your spleen together with that crowd. God bless Pope Francis, our new "pastor" - keep the changes coming. If people like Dan are annoyed, you must be on the right track!

Wed, March 27, 2013 @ 7:03 PM

9. M wrote:
Well said Jeremy.

God bless Pope Francis.

Wed, March 27, 2013 @ 10:28 PM

10. Matt wrote:
Jeremy, the issue of lack of kneelers is not a peripheral issue. Rather, it speaks to a very crucial issue, which is our posture, both interior and exterior, in front of God. If one truly believes that Jesus' body, blood, soul, and divinity is present in the Eucharist, then the proper posture before that Presence is to kneel. Our body and soul are not distinct entities, rather, they are a single unity. Therefore, we pray with our bodies just as much as we pray with our minds. Our humility before God then prompts us to do good for others, as Pope Francis reminds us.

Thu, March 28, 2013 @ 4:42 AM

11. Martin wrote:
GOOD MORNING D A N

U SEEM TO B MISSING WHAT HE IS ABOUT

THE. CIRCUS IS OVER

We r not about FANCY ART WORKS, NICE KNEELERS, We r here to LOVE GOD ABOVE ALL AND OUR NEIGHBOR AS OURSELF.

WE HAVE A LEADER DOING IT!25466

Thu, March 28, 2013 @ 3:17 PM

12. John Michael wrote:
My compliments Dan, on your words of caution.

Thu, March 28, 2013 @ 9:36 PM

13. wrote:
Jeremy, an ugly chapel is a sign of an ugly faith, as is an ugly liturgy. As you know the rule of prayer is the rule of faith. Therefore if your buildings and liturgy are ugly, and the Catholic faith is beautiful, there is an incompatibility. Humility, and other natural virtues are important and commendable, yet they exist outside the Catholic Church. what does not exist outside the Catholic Church by definition is the Catholic Faith. No amount of virtue can replace this essential ingredient. If it could the the Protestant dogma of faith alone would start to seem justifiable. Is it too much to expect and ask for both virtue and a Catholic Faith. For nearly two thousand years this faith has expressed in pouring out the most precious ointments on our Lord's feet with tears. For the last 50 the words of Judas echo, could not this have been used for the poor?

It seems to me that the Vatican II church is the church of Judas. Many in this institution have acquitted Judas of his sims and seven suggested that the son of perdition who it would have been better he ever was born is now in eternal bliss or at worst suffering in purgatory.

This all makes penance, faith and the love of Jesus trivial at best in a sad attempt to pander to the world. It is more like a harlot than a faithful bride.

I long for the day to have a true pastor who stands to death for the faithful, the faith, and the precious traditions that are inheritance of Jesus, the apostles and the saints. I love the Catholic faith, I the refuel detest actions that undermine it. There are to bodies that I hate doing this more than any others, my own, and those purporting to be our leaders. They have an obligation to defend the traditions. As leaders they don't get the right to do what they want, they have strict obligations, and when not met, we have an a ligation to hold the, accountable or disassociate in the case of heresy. The Vatican II Church and their faithful defend every God forsaken action (c.f. See JP II kissing the Koran), because its the pope who did it. reality Check: this is a public mortal sin against the faith. To defend this evil is also a sin.

Washing the feet of delinquents or showing humility is commendable, but don't confuse it with the core which is Christ and all that he taught and commanded through his Church.
In prayer for a restoration of myself and Christ's church this Good Friday.

Fri, March 29, 2013 @ 7:54 AM

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