Vatican retracts announcement: central personnel office ‘only a proposal’
March 09, 2020
The Vatican press office has conceded that “a step of great importance in the path of reform initiated by Pope Francis,” announced late last week, has actually not been taken.
After announcing on March 6 that the Vatican has created a central personnel office, the Vatican press office disclosed the following day that the idea of a “General Directorate of Personnel” is only a proposal, which has been presented to Pope Francis for approval.
The proposal, the press office explained, was “presented to the Holy Father by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the Council for the Economy, and Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, president of the Council of Cardinals.” It is, apparently, one of many proposed reforms that could be included in a long-awaited papal document restructuring the offices of the Roman Curia.
The creation of a central personnel office could help Vatican officials cope with concerns about a sharp rise in the number of lay employees working at the Vatican and the adequacy of pension funding. The endorsement of Cardinals Marx and Maradiaga shows that the proposal has strong support. But the premature announcement of its approval, followed quickly by the public retraction, suggests that the idea has also encountered some powerful resistance.
John Allen of Crux described the embarrassing incident as “one of the most flabbergasting PR gaffes in recent memory.” He suggested:
Really, the Vatican could have saved itself the grief and just put out one consolidated statement as follows: “Right now we’re in disarray, rife with power struggles, and one of the things we’re fighting over is control of human resources.”
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- Holy See Press Office Communiqué, 07.03.2020
- Coronavirus aside, sooner or later the Vatican’s epic HR flip-flop will be noticed (Crux)
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