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An Overhaul of the Roman Curia: Francis' New Constitution

An Overhaul of the Roman Curia:
Francis’ new Constitution

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Fr. Lombardi spoke of a “complete overhaul in the organisation of the Curia” in his briefing with journalists today: the Secretariat of State becomes the papal Secretariat

Giacomo Galeazzi
vatican city - 10/3/2013

The Holy See waves goodbye to the Apostolic Constitution “Pastor Bonus” which regulates the way the Curia works. The Constitution is soon to be replaced by a new “Charter”. In today’s briefing with journalists, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi announced that the work of the “C8”, Francis’ eight-member group of cardinal advisors, would not involve “amendments or minor changes” but a “complete overhaul of the organisation of the Curia”. All the necessary amount of time needed for this process will be taken but the outcome has already been decided: the Pastor Bonus will be replaced by a “newly configured Constitution that will be include relevant points” and will be inspired on the principle of subsidiarity. The result will be a Curia that serves local Churches.

The aim is to put an end to “Roman centralism”. The “C8” will discuss the following: the pastoral care of families (including the issue of communion for remarried divorcees); the next Synod of Bishops (which bishops have already set the agenda for); turning the Secretariat of State into a papal Secretariat; the introduction of a new “moderator curiae” role to improve coordination between Vatican offices; giving greater weight to the issue of the role lay people play in the Church. These are some of the ideas that emerged from the Council of Cardinals’ meetings. The Council will meet again in January and February. “The Council seemed particularly keen to work towards highlighting the Curia’s role as a body that serves the universal Church and local Churches,” Fr. Lombardi said. Pope Francis’ eight cardinal advisors discussed “subsidiarity”, in other words ensuring the Vatican has less of a “centralist” role so that Rome becomes the place where all necessary work is carried out in order to help the Church’s good actions throughout the rest of the world.

The Council of Cardinals is engaged in a series of meetings which started Tuesday and finish today. The main focus of yesterday’s discussions was the reform of the Roman Curia. Our goal is not to simply update the Pastor Bonus, the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia promulgated in 1988, “making cosmetic changes, small adjustments or minor checks,” but to draft a Constitution with consistent changes.” According to Fr. Lombardi, when the work is over – and this may require some time – “we can expect a new Constitution”.


On line at:
http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/detail/articolo/curia-papa-el-papa-pope-28307/







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