04 April 2013

More MSW on Reform

Michael Sean Winters has his second piece on Pope Francis and reform posted.  Definitely worth a read.

The lede:
Yesterday, I began a discussion about Pope Francis and the evident mandate he received from the cardinal-electors to reform the Church. The Church is not a business, and so the most important reforms will be those of the heart, and such reforms are never easy to achieve, at least not through a management program. More on that at the end. But, let us look at what can be done to manage the curia more effectively and, especially, the relationship of the curia with the universal Church. 
I noted yesterday that Pope Paul VI was the last pope to really govern the curia. In his post-conciliar reforms, he placed an enormous amount of power into the hands of the Secretariat of State, but also required regular meetings of the heads of the different Vatican curial offices with the Secretary of State, a collegial form of government akin to a Cabinet-style of government that one finds in most European governments. For different reasons (I am told the reasons are complex and opaque), and in different ways, both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI permitted this last, essential element of the Pauline reforms to lapse. Heads of the different dicasteries do not meet. Differences of perspective between different cabinet officials are left to fester or, if addressed, are filtered through the pope’s personal staff in the “apartment” rather than being hashed out at meetings in the Secretariat of State.

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