Vatican pendulum swings from theater to substance

Boston Globe

By John L. Allen Jr. | GLOBE STAFF APRIL 29, 2014

In Rome the pendulum is swinging from public theater to behind-the-scenes substance this week, as two closed-door meetings tackle two of the most serious challenges facing Pope Francis: Vatican reform and the child sexual abuse scandals.

Following Sunday’s massive canonization ceremony for Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, the pope’s “G8” council of cardinal advisors from around the world is meeting April 28-30 to ponder a reorganization of the Roman Curia, the Vatican’s central administrative bureaucracy.

Immediately afterwards, the new “Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors” instituted by Francis in December to lead the clean-up effort from the abuse scandals will have its first meeting.

The sequence is not coincidental, as one figure sits on both important bodies: Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, the lone American in both cases.

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