Cardinals present first draft of blueprint for Vatican reform

Pope Francis with the Council of Cardinals (CNS)

The council of nine cardinals, or C9, tasked with advising Pope Francis and shaping the reform of the Roman Curia, has released a first draft of a constitution outlining the Pontiff’s vision for the Vatican. Source: Crux.

The proposed document is an Apostolic Constitution, one of the highest forms of papal decrees which usually promulgates significant Church legislation.

For the time being, it is entitled Praedicate Evangelium (Preach the Gospel), and it will be submitted to Francis for review.

“The pope will do what he wants,” said Vatican spokesman Greg Burke, and he will apply “all the opportune or necessary changes”.

The draft offers a guideline to “understand the spirit (of the document) and what is behind the writing,” Mr Burke said, and it lists the “guiding principles” that Francis has offered to inspire the new constitution.

There is no set date as to when to expect the final document, which Mr Burke said still requires “a lot of work,” but it will eventually replace Pastor Bonus, St John Paul II’s 1998 constitution for the Roman Curia.

The cardinals, with the exception of Australian Cardinal George Pell, who remains on leave from his position as Prefect of the Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy as he prepares to face trial on historical child sexual abuse charges, met for three days this week, with the Pope not attending on Wednesday because he was at his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square.

Monsignor Brian Ferme, secretary of the Council of the Economy, presented the various steps of the Vatican’s financial reform to the cardinals. The main objectives, Mr Burke said, were avoiding waste; favouring transparency; ensuring the correct application of accounting standards; following the principle of dual-control; and international standards.

Beyond the work that still needs to be done, Msgr Ferme underlined the positive results since the beginning of the financial reform, including increased attention toward expenditures, a better understanding of the reform process, and a change in the mentality regarding transparency and accountability.


First draft of new ‘constitution’ for Vatican bureaucracy given to pope (Crux)

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