By John L. Allen Jr.
Associate editor October 28, 2015
On Tuesday, Pope Francis issued a letter reminding aides that even though his council of nine cardinal advisors is pondering a sweeping reform of the Church’s central administration, in the meantime all existing rules and regulations for various Vatican departments still apply.
As the pope put it, there is no “legal vacuum.”
The letter was addressed to Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the secretary of state, with the request that Parolin inform everyone else.
Depending on how one chooses to look at it, this was either:
A) A fairly routine bureaucratic reminder in a time of transition.
B) A rebuke of Australian Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s top financial official and a prime mover behind a controversial letter to the pope from roughly a dozen cardinals complaining about the process during the recent Synod of Bishops.
As the pope’s missive made the rounds on Tuesday, one could find variations on both those reactions.
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