22 March, 2013

Another interview with my friend George Weigel on the election of Pope Francis

LOPEZ: People are asking me: "So when do Vatican heads roll"? It that the wrong way to look at this? The wrong question to ask?

WEIGEL: Change in personnel is essential and it's coming: The most important decision the new pope has made thus far is to extend the terms of the heads of Vatican departments only provisionally -- meaning, I assume, that he is going to assess the situation carefully and then make serious changes. When I spoke at some length with Cardinal Bergoglio in Buenos Aires last May, he had a very clear idea of what was wrong in the curia, and what needed to be changed so that the many good people who work there can make the contribution they want to make to the new evangelization.
Just as important, though, is a change in institutional culture in the Church's Roman engine room. On several occasions since his election, Pope Francis has warned against the dangers of clerical careerism. If he brings that concern to the reform of the curia, things will look very different over time -- and not only in terms of structure and personnel, but of organizational culture. I know a lot of good people in the curia, and they are eager to make their contributions to the evangelical Catholicism of the future. I'm hopeful that this pontificate will unleash that energy even as it swabs the deck in the engine room and changes more than a few of the chief petty officers who have been in charge.
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