There is, then, room for Pope Francis to initiate a substantial reshuffle. There are also still some key positions vacant: the undersecretary for the family in the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life; the promoter of justice in the Tribunal of the Roman Rota; and the prefect of the Secretariat for Communication.
It is worth noting that the Secretariat for Communication has changed its name to the “Dicastery of Communication,” and new badges are being delivered to the employees.
This means that the Secretariat has been lowered in rank: it is no longer on par with the Secretariat of State, but is merely one of the dicasteries that will compose the Roman Curia after the Curia reform is completed.
It is likely that the post of Prefect of Communication will remain vacant. The former prefect, Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, resigned March 21, and was then appointed by Pope Francis as “assessor” of the Secretariat for Communication.
Just a few days later, the webpage of the Secretariat for the Communication included the post of “assessor” in the Secretariat’s organizational chart, although the post is not listed in the dicastery’s statute, from Sep. 6, 2017.
While the post of Prefect of the Secretariat is described as “vacant,” the post of assessor was listed as number 3 in the ranks.
The organizational chart does not mention the Editorial Direction, which Msgr. Viganò chaired ad interim. The Editorial Direction is still included in the statute, but it is not listed in the organization chart.
Msgr. Lucio Adrian Ruiz, the secretary of the Vatican’s communications office, is acting as interim prefect.
These are not just details, but rather offer some insight into the reform process.
In several articles written for Italian magazine “Il Regno,” Bishop Marcello Semeraro explained that Pope Francis wants reforms to be made “while walking.”
This means that there is no framework that provides a guideline for the reforms. Rather, the reforms themselves will provide the framework.
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This is the opposite of what happened when St. John Paul II issued Pastor Bonus, the Apostolic Constitution that regulates functions and tasks of the Roman Curia offices. That text was issued in 1988, and was widely discussed for years before. The changes were implemented according to the text.
In this case, the final text of a new pastoral constitution will reflect the changes made, and only then will it be possible to get a general overview of the reforms that have been done.