Would you feel at ease with Pope Francis’ eight picks to look into curial reform? Three cardinals from the Americas, one each from North, Central, and South. A German and an Italian represent Europe. One red hat each from Africa, Asia, and Australia.
A few of these guys have been criticized for their lack of effort in addressing sex abuse. Some have been fairly deep in the Curia itself. (I think all cardinals are appointed to Roman administration in some way.) First meeting in October.
In a brief meeting with journalists, the Vatican’s chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, stressed that the group’s creation will in no way “diminish the role” of the Curia or its responsibilities.
He said that while the Curia remains in charge for the day-to-day task of “helping the pope in the running of the church,” the cardinals will “advise” the pope when they are requested to do so.
According to Lombardi, the creation of the cardinals’ group is a “signal of the pope’s reflection and attention on the issues facing the organization of the church.”
One thing they don’t tell you is if these guys will be pulled off other duties to get this done. If so, this seems a good shift for the Archbishop of Sydney. There’s also a lot of seasoned cardinal veterans in this line-up. Archbishop Marx of Germany is the youngest, not quite into his 60’s. To be a fly on the wall at that first meeting, though …