“Pope Francis’ reform of the Roman Curia is moving too slowly,” says Thomas Reese SJ, author of the definitive account of how the church’s central administration is organised.
“Reform of the Roman Curia is difficult because there is no consensus on the Petrine ministry, the needs of the church today, or the practical issues of management.
“Perhaps the first place to start is by asking Vatican officials and local bishops what issues are being decided in Rome that should be decided at the local, national, or regional level. For example, if a priest and his bishop agree that the priest should be laicized, why does his case have to go to Rome? Do liturgical translations have to be micromanaged in Rome?
“This was one of the issues raised by the cardinals as they met in consistory on Feb. 12, according to Vatican spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi. He reports that they discussed the notion of subsidiarity, or how the Roman Curia might share and divide responsibilities between local dioceses and bishops’ conferences. But no details were given. If this ever gets beyond the discussion stage, it will have a profound impact on the Vatican congregations, which have much of the decision-making authority in the Vatican.”