Pope Francis gets a C+ on reforming Vatican Curia

National Catholic Reporter

Thomas Reese | Dec. 29, 2016 Faith and Justice

Pope Francis has talked a lot about reforming the Vatican Curia, but in reality, he should be given only a C+ for his achievements.

True, he has done some important things.

First, he has changed the very nature of the College of Cardinals by ignoring traditional cardinalatial sees and, for the most part, appointing as cardinals bishops who reflect his own views.

In the past, there were certain archdioceses that everyone presumed would be headed by a cardinal archbishop. Even if a pope’s predecessor appointed the archbishop, the new pope was expected to promote the archbishop of a cardinalatial see to a red hat.

Pope Francis has ignored this tradition and passed over cardinalatial sees like Venice, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles to appoint bishops in places that rarely if ever have had a cardinal, like Indianapolis. He chooses the man rather than the place.

This is the most revolutionary thing Francis has done in terms of church governance. He is doing everything possible to make sure that his legacy is continued by insuring his successor is someone who reflects his views. If he had simply promoted the holdovers of John Paul and Benedict, it would have been much harder to protect his legacy, granted that his papacy will probably not be a long one.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.