Green Room

Vatican: Reform of the Curia not going to be “retouches and marginal modifications,” but new constitution

posted at 10:02 am on October 3, 2013 by

Those wondering whether reform of the Curia, a deep concern at the March conclave that elected Pope Francis, would be significant or just cosmetic got an answer today from the Vatican.  In an announcement broadcast by the Vatican itself, the Council of Cardinals instituted by Francis to deal with the issue has decided to write a new apostolic constitution to replace the current Pastor Bonus rather than simply update it:

The cardinals worked principally on the reform of the Curia. “The direction of their work would not indicate an updating of the apostolic Constitution ‘Pastor Bonus’, with retouches and marginal modifications”, explained Lombardi, “but rather, a new constitution with significant new aspects. It will be necessary to wait a reasonable amount of time following this Council, but the idea is this. The cardinals have made it clear that they do not intend to make cosmetic retouches or minor modifications to ‘Pastor bonus’”.

The intention of the cardinals is to emphasise the nature of the service on the part of the Curia and the universal and local church “in terms of subsidiarity, rather than the exercise of centralised power. The intended direction would be to put this into practice in the service of the Church in all her dimensions”.

Another important theme was the nature and functions of the Secretariat of State, which “should be the secretariat of the Pope; the word State should not give rise to doubt. This body serves the Pope in the governance of the universal Church. The meeting of the Council is very useful at the moment, in view of the directions the Pope will give to the new Secretary of State, who will assume his role shortly, on 15 October”.

Again in relation to the Curia, the Council will address the matter of relations between the heads of the dicasteries and the Pope, and co-ordination between the various bodies. “In this context, mention was made of the role of a ‘Moderator Curiae’ (moderator for the Curia), and the functions of such a figure. The issue was touched upon but no decision has been made as to whether it will form part of the new constitution; however, it is in fact one of the hypotheses suggested by the Council”.

With regard to a possible reorganisation of the administration of temporal goods, the cardinals touched upon this matter but without exploring the theme in depth, since they are awaiting the “reports of the referring commissions on the matter, who will communicate the results of their work [to the Council]”.

The question of the laity merited “significant attention” from Council members, as they had received many suggestions and questions on this subject from their various areas of origin. “When dealing with the reform of the curia and its institutions, the Council also plans to give more specific attention to issues relating to the laity, so that this dimension of the life of the Church is properly and effectively recognised and followed by the governance of the Church. Now there is a Pontifical Council for the Laity, but it is still possible to think of ways of strengthening this aspect”.

This morning, in view of the preparations for the next Synod, debate on the matter was reopened.

Don’t expect the issue to be decided quickly, but it will not take forever either, Fr. Lombardi explained:

Finally, Lombardi said that yesterday no date had been set for the next meeting of the Council, although mention was made of a meeting in spring next year, of an informal nature. “The intention”, he concluded, “is to continue, without waiting for too long. Also, it would be incorrect to assume that nothing happens between one meeting and another; the cardinals and the Pope continue to exchange opinions and messages, even in the absence of a plenary meeting of the Council”.

In other words, change is coming — and probably significantly faster than we normally see in “Church time.”

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Meanwhile, the RCC is busy working on flooding the US with illegals and insuring amnesty.

51/48 RC vote to Obama, and now spearheading Amnesty.

80/20 Evangelical vote to Romney.

Unless something drastic changes over a century of pushing America to the Left, I have little faith or hope in anything that comes out of the Vatican. Their internal politics are of little concern as long as they continue to work towards America’s demise.

mankai on October 3, 2013 at 10:33 AM

“This body serves the Pope in the governance of the universal Church.”

This is about the only clear point made, which is that we’ve got another Obama on our hands. Everything else is just repetitive, ambiguous blather. As for it being reform, in the sense it is change, yeah, it’s reform. In the sense of it being positive, and not negative, action, that will remain to be seen.

Dusty on October 3, 2013 at 11:00 AM

First Baptist Church in Springfield is putting together new bylaws too.

Akzed on October 3, 2013 at 11:10 AM

So Ed. Why the haste?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastor_Bonus

The history of this process is in sections 4 and 5 here:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_jp-ii_apc_19880628_pastor-bonus_en.html

– papal election by the cardinals 1059
– formalization 1588
– code of canon law 1908
– opened to bishops 1967
– opened to priests and laity 1988 (wikipedia – 2nd link is 1988 version)

gh on October 3, 2013 at 11:26 AM

“in terms of subsidiarity, rather than the exercise of centralised power

I just hope that Pope Francis will insist on that same “principle of Subsidiarity” (decentralization) over here in America when our bishops push for centralized government control over our healthcare system as they have, and also leaving the business of illegal immigration to the decision of the lowest possible societal level–the laity, as it declares, and should be, in the Catholic Catechism.

His stated fondness for a past communist teacher’s ideas on social justice being in line with Church teaching frightens this traditional Catholic who is a saddened observer of past Jesuit liberation theology excesses.

Don L on October 3, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Francis the Scourge of Catholicism

gh on October 3, 2013 at 11:31 AM

I love the Traditionalists/Sedevacantists. Sure, according to them I’m headed for eternal fiery torment, but at least they know their church history and dogma.

Their research and familiarilty with Councils, Encyclicals, etc. is excellent.

In many debates over the years, I ironically end up defending the Popes and Councils as accurately teaching RC doctrine and the T/S have been a reliable source for pointing to the relevant documents (which can then be found via the Vatican’s own web site).

The hardest part about debating modern Catholics is that they are all over the map on church doctrine. One second it’s “2000 years of unchanging faith” the next it’s “but that was three centuries ago” or my personal favorite, “how about quoting something from after the light bulb was invented?”

I’d rather be told I’m [probably] going to hell by a Traditionalist than be told seventeen different things about who, what and why someone can get to heaven by a modernist.

http://www.onetruecatholicfaith.com/

mankai on October 3, 2013 at 12:11 PM

gh on October 3, 2013 at 11:31 AM

That blog you linked to is why the rest of us normal Catholics dislike traditionalists so much. Please tell me why you think the wording on that blog is appropriate and helps advance your cause in any way.

His stated fondness for a past communist teacher’s ideas on social justice being in line with Church teaching frightens this traditional Catholic who is a saddened observer of past Jesuit liberation theology excesses

Catholic social teaching on economics is very liberal, so Francis is in line with that. But he actually says that Communism is materialistic in the interview, which is an interesting (and accurate) way to put it.

And his fondness for his former boss might have something to do with the fact that she was tortured to death during the Dirty War. I’m sure that he personally liked her and feels guilty about the fact that she died.

Illinidiva on October 3, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Illinidiva on October 3, 2013 at 2:31 PM

First of all, I am not Catholic but my daughters went to an Opus Dei high school and I have looked at JP2′s Catechism, which I find quite reasonable on all the controversial issues.

I looked at quite a few posts on the blog I linked this morning and the author does not seem to be particularly extreme.

I think the Catholic social teaching on economics is quite misguided.

I am told that the Jesuits are notoriously friendly to marxist teachings but I have no opinion one way or the other on that. I don’t know enough about the Jesuits.

One thing you need to face as a Catholic is that the marxists are out to destroy the church. I think it would be a great pity if that were allowed to happen and some of the things that Frances has said in a recent interview were quite alarming in that regard.

Here is an article which reviews that interview and points out the problems with it:

http://abyssum.org/2013/09/21/pope-francis-jesuit-publlications-interview-provides-a-lot-of-food-for-thought/

gh on October 3, 2013 at 2:44 PM

First of all, I am not Catholic but my daughters went to an Opus Dei high school and I have looked at JP2′s Catechism, which I find quite reasonable on all the controversial issues.

gh on October 3, 2013 at 2:44 PM

And did you also stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night?

In any case, I’m certain the Holy Father will be relieved that you find the Catechism reasonable.

Adjoran on October 3, 2013 at 3:06 PM

First of all, I am not Catholic but my daughters went to an Opus Dei high school and I have looked at JP2′s Catechism, which I find quite reasonable on all the controversial issues.

Opus Dei is on the extreme right of Catholic teaching and comes off quite cult-like. One of my friend’s mothers got involved in it and it is quite controlling and creepy. They were favored during the end of JPII’s pontificate because they gave money to the right people.

I looked at quite a few posts on the blog I linked this morning and the author does not seem to be particularly extreme.

You don’t think that using the f* word to describe gay people is extreme.

am told that the Jesuits are notoriously friendly to marxist teachings but I have no opinion one way or the other on that. I don’t know enough about the Jesuits.

Jesuits are a more progressive order and more interested in the Church’s teachings on poverty and less interested in the Church’s teachings on sexual morality. However, nothing that Francis has said is out of line with Catholic social teaching or the Catechism. Benedict actually wrote an encyclical called Caritas in Veritae which was quite critical of capitalism. The only reason why this is getting more play is because like all Jesuits, Francis is more interested in poverty than sexual morality and his language is much more pastoral and less academic than Benedict’s (i.e. easier to understand.)

Here is an article which reviews that interview and points out the problems with it:

http://abyssum.org/2013/09/21/pope-francis-jesuit-publlications-interview-provides-a-lot-of-food-for-thought/

gh on October 3, 2013 at 2:44 PM

The author in question rejects the Second Vatican Council and is way outside the mainstrean of Catholic thought and teachings.

Illinidiva on October 3, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Most people will find this a minor Curia-sity at best.

Heh heh… I’ll be going now, thanks…

Marcola on October 3, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Adjoran on October 3, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Why would the holy father care? I am not Catholic.

gh on October 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Illinidiva on October 3, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Never mind.

gh on October 3, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Jesuits are a more progressive order and more interested in the Church’s teachings on poverty and less interested in the Church’s teachings on sexual morality.
Illinidiva on October 3, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Not really sure I’d wanna make sure the rejection of sexual morality a “progressive” bragging point.

cough–cough–the “gay” priests pedophile scandal–cough–

whatcat on October 3, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Not really sure I’d wanna make sure the rejection of sexual morality a “progressive” bragging point.

cough–cough–the “gay” priests pedophile scandal–cough–

whatcat on October 3, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Let’s separate gay priests from the pedophilia scandal and from more tolerant language toward gay people in general. No gay people I know would ever harm a child, so please don’t even start with that smear.

I do think that predators like Maciel thought that the Catholic Church was a great place to set up shop, but that has more to do with the traditional set-up of the Church than anything else. Think about it… There was a strict hierarchy and lots of hush-hush secrecy. Priests were interested in covering up things so that they could climb up the ladder. An abuser priest like Maciel wouldn’t be questioned because they were seen as higher than the “peasants” and even the nuns. There were lots of conservative Catholic children who were naïve about sex and probably scared about telling the competent authorities to prey on. It was probably a candy store for Maciel, just like Penn State and the hero worship associated with the football team was a perfect place for Sandusky to operate.

Frankly, it was the unwillingness of Catholic lay people to question the hierarchy and to go along with whatever the priests said to do that caused the abuse scandal more than anything else. When the laity started questioning things, the house of cards fell.

Illinidiva on October 3, 2013 at 9:50 PM

Francis is doing the Lord’s work.

Now, I’ll believe in true structural reform the day Cardinal Law is returned to the United States in handcuffs to face trial. That man did enough damage to the mission of the Church to wreck thousands of souls.

DarthBrooks on October 4, 2013 at 2:38 AM

No gay people I know would ever harm a child, so please don’t even start with that smear.
Illinidiva on October 3, 2013 at 9:50 PM

You don’t believe “gay” pedophiles exist?

whatcat on October 4, 2013 at 3:33 AM

You don’t believe “gay” pedophiles exist?

whatcat on October 4, 2013 at 3:33 AM

Pedophiles exist. But I don’t believe it is correct or helpful for people to blame the sexual abuse crisis on gay priests or the gay lobby or to equate a certain orientation with child abuse.

Illinidiva on October 4, 2013 at 3:41 AM

You don’t believe “gay” pedophiles exist?
whatcat on October 4, 2013 at 3:33 AM

Pedophiles exist.
Illinidiva on October 4, 2013 at 3:41 AM

But not same-sex, i.e. “gay”, pedophiles? None?

whatcat on October 4, 2013 at 3:52 AM