Papal reformers in Rome this week

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Screengrab of a CNS graphic.

VATICAN CITY — Three papally-appointed groups working on overhauls of the Roman Curia and specific issues of concern are meeting here this week.

The Council of Cardinals (the so-called C-8, although Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, is pretty much its ninth stable member) was meeting all day Monday to Wednesday, and Pope Francis taking part in the meetings when he could.

The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, told us the council is gathering the findings from a variety of study groups charged with looking for ways to improve the organizational, administrative and financial workings of the Vatican.

The council currently is looking at the pontifical councils as part of its broader mandate to help Pope Francis revamp and/or streamline the various offices of the Roman Curia. The changes are expected to be radical and overarching, not cosmetic touch-ups, as the pope seeks to underline the curia’s role of being in service to the universal church and the local churches. Because such broad and specific reforms are in the works, Father Lombardi said no definite outcomes should be expected until next year.

The C-8′s fifth meeting is planned for July.

The pope will also meet with members of his new commission for protecting minors from sexual abuse; the commission will meet for the very first time May 1-3. The members will begin drafting the commission’s aims and statutes as well as discussing ways to include additional representatives and input from other parts of the world, Father Lombardi told us today.

If you’d like a refresher “who’s who” look at the C-8 panel and the three papal commissions, be sure to check out our slideshow here.

The pope also will meet with the new Council for the Economy when it gathers for the first time May 2. The group will discuss its statutes and how it will proceed with its work. The pope formed the council — made up of eight cardinals and seven lay experts — to devise appropriate economic policies and best practices for the Holy See.

 

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