Inside the Vatican


September 27, 2019

By Christopher Lamb

[Video not streamed in the United States]

Filmed over a year inside the Vatican, episode two charts a time of change as Pope Francis appoints 14 new cardinals and a sex abuse scandal erupts just as the Pope embarks on a historic visit to Ireland.

Pope Francis is a reformer and he is shaking up the clerical establishment. He is questioning attitudes to divorce and homosexuality, and he is not shy about confronting his opponents. Every year Pope Francis gives his annual address to the Curia Romana, the cardinals, bishops and priests who make up the central governing body of the Church.

One of the most important tools of reform the Pope possesses is his power to appoint new cardinals. This is the closest he comes to succession planning because the college of cardinals will elect the new Pope at the next conclave. This year, Pope Francis is appointing 14 new cardinals and he is breaking with tradition by choosing men not only from the centres of power in Europe and North America, but also from countries such as Iraq, Madagascar and Pakistan. Not everyone is impressed. Sandro Magister, an influential journalist who has been reporting on the Catholic Church for over 50 years, is critical of the Pope’s choice of new cardinals.

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