PRESS RELEASE 1 July 2017
Can the Vatican be reformed?
After the Vatican’s first ever Auditor General, Libero Milone, has resigned suddenly, We Are Church International asks if the Vatican can at all be reformed in a slow step-by-step way. The former Head of Deloitte in Italy was just 2 years into his 5 year term to audit the Vatican’s finances. No reason was given for his sudden departure. The search for his replacement has just begun. It appears that the curia in the Vatican have managed to dump any financial reforms:
- While more than 40 cases of alleged impropriety have been flagged by the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority for investigation, not a single prosecution has been pushed through by the Vatican’s justice system
- Only 20% of Peter’s Pence collected around the world goes to help the poor - the rest is used to fund the Vatican curia.
In addition, Papal adviser Cardinal George Pell has been forced to take an immediate leave of absence from his Vatican duties to defend against charges of sexual abuse. This is happening just weeks after a key member of the Commission charged with overseeing reform in this area resigned in frustration with the barriers the Commission faced.
It appears that much more drastic action is required. We Are Church International call on Pope Francis to set up an Ecumenical Council for a major reform of church structures to introduce synodal structures with the full involvement of the people of God. This Ecumenical Council could be held in Brazil – but certainly not in the Vatican.
Sigrid Grabmeier, Chair of We Are Church International, said, “The Vatican curia devotes to much energy to protect and preserve institutional power. This will only change when there is a full blossoming of laypeople and especially women’s involvement in the church and its mission. Substantive change in our Church is urgently needed.”
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We Are Church International, founded in Rome in 1996, is a global coalition of national church reform groups. It is committed to the renewal of the Roman Catholic Church based on the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the theological spirit developed from it.