• John Thavis

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.

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