News / Europe

Pope Francis to Meet With Cardinals, Discuss Reform

Pope Francis To Meet With Cardinals, Discuss Reformi
October 01, 2013 4:49 AM
Since becoming the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis has made it clear that his papacy will differ from the previous ones. From touching the faithful while riding in an open vehicle, to emphasizing humility and service rather than dogma, the new pope has signaled that significant changes lie ahead for the Church. On Tuesday, the pontiff begins three days of consultations with eight cardinals he has appointed to advise him on what many consider to be desperately needed Vatican reforms.
Pope Francis To Meet With Cardinals, Discuss Reform
Zlatica Hoke
Since becoming the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis has made it clear that his papacy will be different from the previous ones.  From touching the faithful while riding in an open vehicle, to emphasizing humility and service rather than dogma, the new pope has signaled that significant changes lie ahead for the Church. On Tuesday, the pontiff begins three days of consultations with eight cardinals he has appointed to advise him on what many consider to be desperately needed reforms for the Vatican. 
The pope's first meeting with the newly appointed council of eight cardinals will take place behind closed doors. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi on Monday mentioned improving the governance of the Church through reform of the Curia as one of the main purposes of the summit, but that other issues will be discussed as well.
"There are two principle aims; to help the government of the Universal Church and to examine a project of revision on the Apostolic Constitution 'Pastor Bonus' of the Roman Curia.  So, the reform of the Curia is one part of the summit but it is not all.  There are also the problems of the government of the Universal Church that are also subject to consultation at the meeting, and for the pope these issues are also very important, some of them perhaps even more important,” said Lombardi.
The 1988 apostolic constitution was used by Pope John Paul II to institute the last major changes in the Vatican, but since then the Church has been undermined by revelations of a history of sexual abuse, allegations of corruption in the management of the Vatican state and reports of internal conflict within the Vatican bureaucracy.  In addition, many Catholics have protested the Church's unbending opposition to abortion, gay relationships and women serving in clerical roles.  As a result, calls for reform have become increasingly vocal in recent years.
Pope Francis has acknowledged that the Church is in crisis, and has signaled that a major overhaul is on the way. 
Iacopo Scaramuzzi, a Vatican correspondent for Italian news agency TimNews, noted that the pope was elected with a mandate to reform the Vatican curia.
"The pope has a strong mandate, the majority of the cardinals who elected him in the Conclave did want to choose a strong pope, a pope who would change many things, reform the Vatican curia, and that would relaunch the Catholic Church. He is very willing to do so, the Catholic people love him very much. That said, inside the Vatican and outside the Vatican there are those who resist this reform.  As in every institution, there are those who prefer to keep things the way they are," said Scaramuzzi.
Change can be especially slowly in a 2,000-year-old institution.  Lombardi warned that the three-day summit will not result in a comprehensive reform plan.
"It's going to be a long-term job, let's not think that the reform of the curia and of the government of the universal church is something that can be dealt with in terms of specific operational conclusions in three days," cautioned Lombardi.
The eight-member council meeting with the pope is a diverse group of cardinals from the Americas, Africa, Australia and Europe.  They will discuss suggestions for reform based on the polls from Catholics around the world.

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Comment Sorting
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 01, 2013 11:32 AM
Reforms are for mundane things. Celestial things need no reform, because they are supernatural. The Church is established by laws that are not man made, there is little man can do to change the laws. Let us not do things beyond our mandate; there are many people who do not belong to the church, let them stay away if what the church is doing does not suit them. The church should change people, not people to change the Church, because though it is a human body, the Church is a spiritual organization that not even the pope should tamper with in terms of making sweeping changes. The bible is very clear and unequivocal about what should obtain and what should not obtain in the church.

Whether or not the church came before the bible, it is like every human organization that first stands before it gets laws to guide it. The bible came after the church as a law guiding the Church. It must allow the bible guide it in its legislation for changes (if any). So the pope and his cardinals must have it at the back of their minds that whatever legislation they make now will have reaching impact on the universal church, catholic, protestant, or evangelical. Rather than make changes that will impact negatively the universal law of preservation of mankind, sanity of worship and sanctity of human life, the pope that his cardinals should throw in the towel, as did his predecessor. I suppose it was for this pressure that Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) resigned. For he feared to offend God by upholding the precepts of men.

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