Pope hints at sweeping Vatican reforms

Pope begins meetings with hand-picked cardinal advisers on reform of curia

Pope Francis has given the strongest indication yet that he is planning sweeping reforms at the Vatican and launched a stinging attack on clericalism.

In a new interview with prominent Italian atheist Eugenio Scalfari, published as the Pope was beginning meetings with his hand-picked cardinal-advisers, Francis said that the “defect” of the Roman Curia is that it is “Vatican-centric” and “cares for [its own] interests”.

He added that “I do not share this view and I’ll do everything I can to change it”.


Francis also hit out at clericalism and aloofness among priests and religious. He said he “becomes an anti-clericalist in a flash” when he’s faced with an officious priest.

The Pope said that: “The Church is or should go back to being a community of the People of God, and priests, pastors and bishops” who “are at the service of the people of God”.

The Vatican, he said, has a very important role, but must always be “at the service of the Church”.

Pope Francis said his reforms “will also speak of the role of women in the Church,” adding that “the Church is feminine”.

The Pope this week presided over a three-day summit with the eight cardinals he has picked to advise him on reform.

The body, known informally as the G8, will have the “task of assisting me in the governance of the universal Church and drawing up a project for the revision of
the apostolic constitution Pastor Bonus on the Roman Curia,” Pope Francis wrote
in his decree, dated September 28.

Pastor Bonus, published in 1988, was the last major set of changes in the Roman Curia, the Church’s central administration at the Vatican.

Corruption and mismanagement in the Vatican bureaucracy, sensationally documented in the 2012 ‘VatiLeaks’ of confidential correspondence, were a major topic of discussion among members of the College of Cardinals during meetings prior to the papal election in March.