Sunday, March 17, 2013

Roman Curia: The Pope’s new style could mean reforms on the horizon


Vatican City , -  For now everyone remains in their place, but the heads and deputy heads of the Dicasteries may change soon

"Holy Father Francis has expressed the desire that the heads and members of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, as well as their Secretaries, and also the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, continue donec aliter provideatur, that is, provisionally, in their respective positions." The awaited confirmation for the heads of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, "suspended" since Francis' election, came yesterday in the early afternoon. Everyone is staying put for the moment, the Vatican statement said. "The Holy Father wishes to leave some time for reflection, prayer, and dialogue before any final appointment or confirmation is made."

So everyone’s positions have been confirmed, but none have really been confirmed. The heads of the dicasteries, the cardinals of the congregations and the archbishops who are Presidents of Pontifical Councilskeep their places, but only for the time being, "until otherwise decided." Strangely, the statement also mentions the secretaries (departments’ number-twos) who keep their jobs when the Holy See becomes vacant and therefore do not need to have their posts reconfirmed. Their mention could signify that, although everyone is expected to continue performing their usual duties, no one can assume they will keep the same posts they currently occupy.

The Vatican statement does not mention the Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone explicitly, who was greeted publicly by the Pope two days ago in the Clementine Hall. It only mentions his role as chamberlain. But the Secretariat of State is the first of the Vatican dicasteries and therefore the temporary confirmation also applies to the 78-year-old cardinal from Italy’s Canavese area, head of Vatican diplomacy and director of the Curia machine since 2006. It is thought the replacement of the Secretary of State, who is almost 79, will be the quickest, while other substitutions may made in the coming months.

 VATICAN CITY

Vatican Insider

ANDREA TORNIELLI

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