Catholic World News

Reshuffling of Roman Curia will leave many Vatican officials without posts

September 09, 2016

Recent changes in the Roman Curia will leave a number of Vatican officials without jobs, notes Sandro Magister, the veteran Vatican-watcher for the Italian daily L'Espresso

Pope Francis has established two new major offices: the dicasteries for Laity, Family, and Life and for Integral Human Development. But each of those offices will handle responsibilities that are now divided among several pontifical councils, and those councils will cease to exist, leaving their staff members with an uncertain fate. 

Only one cardinal has been left without a post in the reshuffling. Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, has not been given a new assignment in Rome. However, the Polish prelate could be an obvious choice to become Archbishp of Krakow, succeeding Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who at the age of 77 is already well past normative retirement age. 

Bishop Josef Clemens, who was secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity (and previously the private secretary to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) is also without a new asssignment, as is Bishop Joseph Kalathiparambil, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Migrants.

The offices of the pontifical councils that are being eliminated in the reorganization employ 50 lay workers, 18 priests, and 4 religious. It is not yet clear how many will be given posts in the new dicasteries. But since the goals of the reorganization included streamlining the Vatican bureaucracy, some layoffs seem inevitable.

Pope Francis has promised that he will not dismiss lay workers whose families might depend on their income. However, priests and religious working at the Vatican could be laid off, and returned to their dioceses or religious communities. 

The Vatican offices that have been suppressed in the reorganization are:

  • the Pontifical Council for the Laity
  • the Pontifical Council for the Family
  • the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
  • the Pontifical Council for Migrants
  • the Pontifical Council Cor Unum
  • the Pontifical Council for Health Care
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  • Posted by: unum - Sep. 10, 2016 12:36 PM ET USA

    The Holy Father is moving the Vatican in the right direction by trimming the bureaucracy. It is a good beginning!