Be professional, shun gossip, Pope tells Vatican staff

Pope Francis . 1

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis on Saturday told Vaticanadministrators, who were dogged by infighting and allegations of corruption during the papacy of his predecessor, to be humble professionals and “conscientious objectors” to gossip. “When professionalism is lacking, there is a slow drift downwards towards mediocrity,” Francis said in his first Christmas greetings to the members of the Roman Catholic Church’s central administration, known as the Curia.

He told the cardinals, bishops, monsignors and lay people who work in the various Vatican departments that administer the 1.2 billion-member Church that they should always strive for “professionalism and service”. When he was elected in March, Francis inherited a Curia in disarray and still reeling from the ” Vatileaks” scandal, in which documents stolen from former Pope Benedict’s office alleged corruption and petty infighting among monsignors.

Benedict, who became the first pope in 600 years to resign, was also tainted by reports in the Italian media of a so-called “gay lobby” in the Curia that used blackmail against others.

In his address, Francis said he wanted the Curia to turn a page. “Holiness, in the Curia, also means conscientious objection to gossip,” he said, and, departing from his prepared speech, added that there were also “saints” working in the Vatican.

Reuters | Dec 22, 2013, 05.35 AM IST


Pope orders senior clergy to hear confessions in local church

  • Suggestions that the pope himself will take a turn.

Vatican City: 

Further to my blog of Friday 6th December, I note that Pope Francis is still determined to get Vatican officials out from behind their desks. As I wrote then, he has told his papal almoner, “You can sell your desk”. Thus this official, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, now goes out to meet in person some of those who have written to the Pope asking for help.

As the representative of the Holy Father, where he can help with small sums, interventions or other acts of kindness, he does so. The subliminal idea is that charity has a human face; it is not just signing a cheque from behind a certain piece of office furniture.

Now Robert Moynihan reports in his Letter 102 of Sunday 15 December from the Vatican, that Pope Francis has personally directed his closest collaborators, the cardinals and archbishops of the Roman Curia, to take turns to hear daily confession in the church of Santo Spirito in Sassia, which is situated outside the Vatican. It is suggested that the Holy Father will also take his turn in the confessional at 3 pm during the coming weeks.

Significantly the church of Santo Spirito is dedicated to the Divine Mercy devotion revealed to St Faustina, a Polish nun, and promoted by the late John Paul II, who died on the Feast of Divine Mercy. It seems that Archbishop Krajewski already hears confessions at this church daily at 3 pm.

Now he is to be joined by other members of the Curia. When asked why the Pope has asked for this initiative, the parish priest of Santo Spirito, Fr Jozef Bart, replied, “He wishes to emphasise the importance of confession, and of God’s great goodness in forgiving human sin.”

Source: Catholic Herald

Pope Francis ,Pope Orders ,Senior Clergy ,Hear Confessions ,Local Church 

Second session of Council of Cardinal’s meetings: Pope Francis participates

This morning, 3 December, Pope Francis met with the Council of Cardinals, the group of eight cardinals assisting in the governance of the universal Church and examining a revision of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor bonus on the Roman Curia. Fr Federico Lombardi, Director of the Holy See Press Office, announced this in a briefing with journalists to explain the second session of the Cardinal’s meetings which will be taking place at the Vatican until Thursday, 5 December. The cardinals’ first session was held from 1 to 3 October. On the day’s agenda was “a thorough examination of the Roman Curia, which began with a reflection on the dicasteries”, starting with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Fr Lombardi pointed out that “it will be a matter of readjusting: we want to go in depth. This is not a marginal improvement, but a substantial revision” of Pastor bonus in order to reach a new Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia. After having concelebrated at morning Mass with the Pope in the Chapel of Santa Marta, the small group, along with their secretary Bishop Marcello Semeraro, met in a room near the chapel. The agenda includes morning sessions from 9 am to 12:30 pm and from 4 to 7 pm. Fr Lombardi said that the tasks have been divided among the Cardinals based on personal experience, but the responsibility of making decisions is considered to be common and shared. Since the October session, the eight cardinals have collected extensive documentation and gathered other points of view, participating in meetings of their bishops’ conferences.

Source: L’Osservatore Romano

December 4, 2013
[tags: Pope Francis]
The cardinal Cláudio Hummes, new prefect of th...

The cardinal Cláudio Hummes, new prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, Roman Curia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Council of cardinals gets down to business

Pope Francis and his hand-picked team in three days of meetings.

Vatican city:

The eight cardinals picked by Pope Francis to advise him on reform of the Roman curia and the governance of the Catholic church are preparing to meet the pontiff for the first time on Tuesday[October 1], in an unprecedented three-day meeting likened to a “papal G8”.

In a move already billed as a potentially critical moment for Francis’s six-month-old papacy, the multinational group of “outsider” cardinals is flying in to Rome from all corners of the globe to present him with ideas for how to reform the Vatican and the church worldwide.

The panel – officially named the Council of Cardinals – was hailed as a revolutionary move when it was formed in April shortly after Francis’s election. One observer said that, in its apparent embrace of a more collegial style of church governance, it was the “most important step in the history of the church for the past 10 centuries”.

However, the pope’s spokesman, Federico Lombardi, on Monday stressed that the arrangement had its limits. Although the cardinals would be called on to advise the pope and would give the church another “means of consultation”, there was no question about who would be having the final say.

“A council advises, and he who decides is the pope,” he said.

Source: The Guardian

Council Of Cardinals ,Vatican City ,Roman Curia ,Pope Francis 


Pope issues official announcement on ‘Council of Cardinals’

The eight cardinals will advise the pontiff on the government of the universal Church.

Vatican City:

Francis has issued a papal chirograph officially announcing the establishment of his “G8”, the group of eight cardinals who will have the task of advising the Pope on the government of the universal Church and the revision of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus on the Roman Curia.

The document published on Monday and dated 28 September, mentions the discussions held during the pre-Conclave General Congregations.

“Among the suggestions that emerged during the course of the General Congregations of Cardinals prior to the Conclave, was the convenience in instituting a small group of Members of the Episcopate, from different parts of the world, that the Holy Father could consult with, either individually or collectively, on particular issues,” the chirograph reads.

In the chirograph, Francis states: “Now, after mature reflection, I consider it opportune, through this Chirograph, to officially institute as a ‘Council of Cardinals’, whose task is to help in the government of the universal Church and to study a draft revision of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus on the Roman Curia.”

The Pope confirmed that the council “will be composed of the same persons mentioned above and may be consulted, both individually and as a Council, on matters I feel worthy of attention.

Said Council, the number of components of which I reserve the right to configure as deemed adequate, will be a further expression of Episcopal communion and auxiliary service that the Bishops around the world can offer to munus petrinum.”

The details of the council’s structure have therefore not yet been defined. Since it is a new advisory institution (council), adjustments will be made along the way as needed.

The Pope confirmed what he said on a number of occasions and that is, that the more direct involvement of certain members of the Episcopate in advising the Bishop of Rome was something that had been requested during the pre-Conclave discussions. The council only has one Italian member, Cardinal Bertello, who is President of the Vatican City Governorate. The rest are cardinal archbishops of various dioceses across the five continents. Only one of these is Emeritus.

The council will not only be addressing the reform of the Roman Curia but will also be responsible for advising on the government of the universal Church. The “G8” will function as a group but members may also be consulted “individually” on matters he deems as important.

The chirograph makes no mention of relations with other institutions, which is further proof that it is still an open structure in the making, whose purpose is simply to advise and help the Pope.

“It will boost the instruments already in place,” said the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr Federico Lombardi, in a press conference. “You will recall that advice is also given in various meetings such as the meeting of heads of Curia dicasteries and the commissions in charge of looking into the Church’s financial and administrative affairs, such as the Synod of Bishops. Then there are the bishops’ ad limina visits.”

“Over the past months, the group of eight cardinals has been gathering proposals and notes from individual advisors working in their respective fields of expertise or directly from the Pope, or from the Roman Curia and the Secretary of State. About 80 documents have been gathered and circulated among the council’s members and its secretary, Bishop Marcelo Semeraro, who has prepared an initial summary,” Fr Lombardi said.

The group’s various members, who are currently staying in St. Martha’s House, have already held several meetings with Pope Francis, so the work in fact began some time ago. In recent days there were some informal meetings, which the Pope did not attend.

“There was a meeting on Saturday and there will be another one this afternoon [Monday],” Fr Lombardi said. “Official meetings will take place in the private library near the entrance of the papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace. The Pope will attend the meetings that will be held in the morning and in the evening.”

Cardinal �scar Andr�s Rodr�guez Madariaga is in charge of coordinating the meetings. The Pope will give a very brief introduction but will mostly be just listening. Each of the eight cardinals will give their input on the various proposals put forth.

“After this initial meeting, others will follow, so we cannot expect there to be any definitive conclusions, documents published or big decisions of any kind taken within the next few days.”

Source: Vatican Insider

Pope Francis ,Vatican City ,Official Announcement ,‘Council Of Cardinals’ 

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