Pope Francis shuffles his pack
Sept. 25, 2013
According to Vatican observers, a Pope Francis “revolution” in the Roman Curia began Sept. 21, when a series of appointments and confirmations at the curia's top ranks changed the face of the Pope’s collaboration team. Pope Francis on Saturday confirmed the heads of the Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith and for the Evangelization of Peoples. In addition, he appointed Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, until now prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, as head of the Apostolic Penitentiary; Archbishop Beniamino Stella as prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy; and Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.
These last appointments can be seen as a clear signal that the influence of diplomats in the Vatican is strong again, Gianfranco Svidercoschi, former vice-director of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, told CNA. In a conversation on Sept. 20, Svidercoschi said that Archbishop Stella “was a diplomat in South America, as were many of those whom Pope Francis has recently appointed. This would seem to seal a sort of 'alliance' between Pope Francis and the 'gang of diplomats'.” Svidercoschi also notes that Archbishop “Stella and Baldisseri have been Papal ambassadors in South America, as was the appointed Secretary of State, (Archbishop) Pietro Parolin.”
This would lead us to think that “being in touch with ‘far Churches’ is one of the most important requirements to take an important post in Pope Francis’ curia,” he added.
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