The chief administrative item on the agenda of Pope Francis is the reform of the Roman Curia, the radical commission he was given by the College of Cardinals at his election. He has recently been telling friends how difficult it is proving, while being urged to get a move on by leading cardinals, writes The Tablet in an editorial.
In fact, with the Roman August shut-down fast approaching and the group of cardinals he has appointed to advise him on curial reform not due to meet until October, it is a little early to become impatient.
The issue he has already been wrestling with is about personnel. He inherited Pope Benedict’s appointments, including the key figures of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone as Secretary of State and Archbishop Gerhard Müller as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Cardinal Bertone had become the focus of much of the discontented grumbling that grew inside the Curia as Pope Benedict’s papacy drew to its unexpected close. That problem is now in hand, following his letter of resignation last month.
Archbishop Müller is a more complicated case, not least because he was the personal choice of Pope Benedict with whom Pope Francis still has regular discussions. But the archbishop is clearly out of step with the new mood, for instance in his astonishing recent statement that divorced and remarried Catholics who want to receive Communion cannot appeal to God’s mercy. He is not going to be able to live it down. It is well known that many of his fellow German bishops – and others elsewhere in the world – strongly disagree.
FULL STORY A pope with only one master (The Tablet)