Vatican City, Sep 26, 2016 / 23:08 pm
How does Pope Francis carry forward the reform of the Roman Curia? Gradually, step by step, by trial and error, according to Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, who serves as secretary of the Council of Cardinals.
Bishop Semeraro delivered his evaluation of the work of the Council of Cardinals in a lengthy article for the Italian Catholic monthly “Il Regno,” published Sept. 19. There, the bishop provided the criteria that led the Council of Cardinals to their suggested reform of the Roman Curia.
The keywords to understand the reforming method are pastoral conversion, decentralization, and subsidiarity.
Curia reform is already underway, the bishop said.
There is unusual flexibility in the new management of the Vatican departments, known as dicasteries. At present, the newest dicasteries’ rules are approved on an experimental basis but without a time limit. Usually the Church places a time limit on experimental rules.
This decision allows adjustments and improvements as soon as any are needed.
Bishop Semeraro linked the Council of Cardinals’ actions to the “needs for a pastoral conversion” that Pope Francis stated in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium.
The bishop reviewed Pope Francis’ instructions that established the Secretariat for Communications, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life and the Dicastery for Integral Human development. According to Bishop Semeraro, these show that Curia reform has a twofold meaning.
“First of all,” the bishop said, “the reform wants to make the Curia relevant to the current times, to better meet the needs of men and women.” Secondly, the reform aims at “making the Roman Curia more compliant to its task, that is, collaborating with the ministry of the successor of Peter.”