Pope pens letter hinting at power struggles during reform

Yahoo! News

Associated Press By NICOLE WINFIELD

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Just days after closing a contentious meeting of bishops from around the world, Pope Francis turned his attention Tuesday to more domestic but equally contentious affairs.

He issued a stern warning to Vatican bureaucrats to obey Vatican rules and laws as he goes about overhauling the Vatican administration — a sign that those charged with enacting the reforms perhaps need some reform themselves.

Francis penned an unusual letter to the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, asking him to remind Curia leaders that they must observe Vatican law about the structure and powers of the existing administration and follow existing rules on new hires, transfers and salary caps.

According to the current law, Parolin’s office is at the top of the Vatican hierarchy and is in charge of human resources. He imposed a hiring freeze last year.

One target of Francis’ letter could be the new Secretariat for the Economy, headed by the Australian Cardinal George Pell, who has moved aggressively to try to assert authority over other Vatican entities and their finances as he builds up a new office from scratch. The Vatican in June also named a new auditor general.

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