Vatican “Super Dicastery”: A Papal Promise Fulfilled?
When news broke earlier this week about the creation of a brand new dicastery” for evangelization that may supersede the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and I expected to find out further comment on it. As a classic covering things I’m aware of the nuances and politics of the several mechanics of the Vatican much more than I’d like to be.
But the reaction appears somewhat blended, and fairly muted, considering that this fresh dicastery — anticipated, according to Spanish-language weekly Vida Nueva, to be declared in the coming apostolic constitution Praedicate Evangelium that this June — has been touted as perhaps “among the most significant reforms of their governing structures of the Vatican. ” By Inés San Martín at Crux:
Another of the novelties from the new constitution is the curia will no longer be split into”congregations” along with the less prestigious”pontifical councils;” instead all autonomous Vatican departments will be termed”dicasteries,” which has already been applied to many new bodies created by Pope Francis.
The brand new”super dicastery” for evangelization will result in the mixing of two already existing bodies: The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, also known as Propaganda Fidei, That’s tasked with overseeing”missionary lands;” along with the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, that was created in 2010 by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI to confront the rapid secularization of Western countries
Some, like Ed Condon and J.D. Flynn of the Catholic News Agency, seem to believe this development is nothing new. “that I ’m not sure anybody acquainted with the way the curia has served for the past several hundred decades,” tweeted Condon, “would consider that the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples not to be a ‘super department’ already. ”
“Just,” replied Flynn. “Prop Fide may do anything. ”
But some people I’ve talked with are worried that this change, inasmuch as it figures to a demotion of this CDF, will harm that human anatomy ’s authority to oversee bishops’ conventions, as well as also the comparable power of this Congregation for Divine Worship (CDW) — together with subsequent capability to cause issues in the regulation of both doctrine and worship.
Christopher Altieri in the Catholic Herald is worried. He writes:
All dicasteries’ equality may sound in some ears, and may seem fine on paper. The simple fact is, nevertheless, it cannot be the principle where there is a bureaucracy constructed. The Roman Curia exists to help the Roman Pontiff in governing the Church. It is an organ — a instrument — of governance. It’s a power arrangement.
Not to put too fine a point on itthe talk of all dicasteries being juridically equivalent has got the ring of Orwellian dystopia about it — as though the guy directing the reform read Animal Farm and mistook it for a while.
Another twist is the way the energy arrangements will be shifted by in which the restructuring of the curia . By San Martín:
Menor writes that Praedicate Evangelium puts the Curia in the support of the pope and the college of bishops.
“As successors of the apostles, the bishops do not possess an ecclesiological place that places them under those who are employed in the Roman Curia,” Maradiaga said. When the constitution is approved, a bishop from some other diocese will have precisely exactly the same power as a Vatican dicastery’s prefect.
When the text is accepted – which will be about a 25-year”trial period” — that the Vatican dicasteries will not more be tools for the pope to oversee local churches, but will be there to function bishops from all over the world. They’ll no more be a”body” in between the pontiff and the college of bishops, but an institution that functions equally.
This should come as no surprise, since this is exactly what Pope Francis maintained in his first Important interview, “A Big Heart Open to God,” published both in La Civiltà Cattolica and America Magazine at September 2013:
“The dicasteries of the Roman Curia are in the support of the pope and the bishops,” that he says. They must help the churches as well as the bishops’ conferences. They are tools of assistance. Sometimes, however, when they’re not functioning well, they run the risk of getting institutions of censorship. It’s astonishing to see that the denunciations. I believe the cases should be investigated from the local bishops’ conferences, which can get invaluable help. These cases, in fact, are dealt with locally. Even the Roman congregations are mediators; they aren’t middlemen or supervisors. ”
My question stems out of reading the remarks of Cardinals Oswald Gracias and Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, both members of this pope’s Council of Cardinal Advisers. The two Gracias and Maradiaga assert that the change in emphasis is since Francis cares about evangelization.
“Pope Francis supposes the Church is missionary,” opines Maradiaga. “Therefore, it’s logical that we put in the first location not the one for the Doctrine of the Faith and the dicastery for Evangelization. ”
“The main point of the new Apostolic Constitution is that the mission of the Church is evangelization,” said Gracias. “It places it in the middle of everything and the Church the Curia does. It will be the first dicastery. The name of the text proves that evangelization is the objective, ahead of anything else. ”
Thinking about the pope’s frequent condemnations of proselytism — especially against “attempting to convert people to the own opinion ” — one is left to wonder precisely what he believes the phrase “evangelism” means.
It is also noteworthy that a movement touted as a significant curial reform has been leaked to the press by one of the most especially corrupt members of that body: that the archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Cardinal Maradiaga. Earlier this past year, we told you to a brand new book written about the pope’s nearest advisor by Martha Alegría Reichman, the widow of Alejandro Vallardes, the late night ambassador to the Holy See. Alegria asserts that Maradiaga betrayed her and her husband after nearly four decades of friendship, advising them to participate in what turned out to be a fraudulent investment scheme — one that cost them their life savings.
In a new report by depending on the book, Matthew Cullinan Hoffman of LifeSiteNews says, “Alegría’s groundbreaking book contains several revelations and descriptions which exemplify the depth of corruption of this guy pope Francis has chosen as the public face of the ‘reform’ project, and who mysteriously continues to occupy his position despite the large scandals that have engulfed him since 2017. ”
“Holy Betrayals” shows that Rodríguez Maradiaga considered Pope Francis as indebted to him for his election and also for convincing him to accept the papacy, and suggests that even Francis can’t restrain the cardinal, that seems exempt from accountability for his private misbehavior and abuse of power.
The book also sheds light on which Alegría calls the”excessive” and”unhealthy” relationship between the Cardinal and his friend and afterwards Auxiliary Bishop, José Juan Pineda Fasquelle, that was housed with Rodríguez Maradiaga for years from the archbishop’s residence of Villa Iris — combined with his gay boyfriend, Erick Cravioto Fajardo, a one who dressed as a priest. According, Rodríguez Maradiaga finally resulted in his forced resignation, and destroyed the livelihood of at least six priests for raising responses to Pineda behavior, behaviour involving sexual predation of both seminarians.
“Sacred Betrayals” provides the view of one of Rodríguez Maradiaga’s closest friends, who became a victim of his own deceptions and misuse of power, dropping nearly all of her household’s savings at a fraudulent investment scheme pushed on her and her husband from the cardinal. Alegría says the Corps attempted to drive her to lie to protect him and also to silence , causing her into a rude awakening about his character that is true.
Hoffman’s entire summary of this book is required reading for anyone wanting a glimpse at the thickness of corruption at Francis’s Vatican. But it raises the question: why is Maradiaga that the custodian of the information? And when a guy like Maradiaga fully supports the initiative of curial reform as summarized in Praedicate Evangelium, will we anticipate that any good will come of it?
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