We need a new Church Constitution for the People of God
Despite Pope Francis’ best efforts, the new rules for the curia “Praedicate Evangelium” (PE) confirm the tight grip the curia have on power.
We welcome the clear statement in PE that lay women or men can now be appointed to lead most dicasteries, even the powerful Secretariat of State. But the main problem with PE is that the curia continues to undermine Pope Francis’ efforts at reform.
As one commentator noted new laws by Pope Francis are regarded as Press Releases which can be ignored:
Example: In December 2020 Pope Francis ordered all financial affairs to come under the control of the Secretariat of the Economy; but this has not happened. The Secretariat of State is holding on to its financial assets.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) now becomes a Dicastery (DDF) but retains its powers:
Example: The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors now comes under the full control of the DDF, thus losing all semblance of independence as Marie Collins points out.
What is needed is a new Constitution for the People of God to take charge of governance - a Charter of Fundamental Rights and Responsibilities in the church. Pope Paul VI started work on such a fundamental paper but the work was never completed.
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An opinion from Noi Siamo Chiesa: Riforma della Curia: dopo nove anni una riforma nella linea della continuità. Testo inglese e , di seguito, testo italiano