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Council of Cardinals continues planning for reform for Roman Curia

April 29, 2014

Meeting this week at the Vatican, the Council of Cardinals is focusing on the reform of the Roman Curia.

Having devoted earlier meetings to a study of the Vatican’s economic and management affairs, the eight-member Council is now discussing possibilities for a reorganization of the Curia. The Vatican announced that the cardinals have reviewed the Congregations, which form the top echelon of the Curia, and are now assessing the Pontifical Councils, which form the next rung on the organization ladder.

Vatican insiders expect that Pope Francis will eventually eliminate some of the Pontifical Councils, combining their functions or merging them into existing Congregations, and thus streamline the Vatican’s management. There has also been speculation that a new office could be established: a “moderator of the curia” to coordinate all these offices.

The Vatican press office said that the Council of Cardinals does not expect to complete its work on reform of the Curia until sometime next year. This week’s meetings of the Council, running Monday through Wednesday, will be followed by another four-day working session in July.

Pope Francis joined the members of the Council for most of their discussions this week, missing sessions only for meetings with visiting heads of state and for his Wednesday general audience. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State, also joined the eight cardinals, taking a regular part in the discussions.


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