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Church Reform Wishlist: The Roman Curia

The Roman Curia:

  • Get the most qualified people. This means, at least:
    • Some kind of open hiring process that allows anyone qualified to be considered. The Anglicans even advertise their top openings on their website. We could have something similar. Jobs.va? Why not?
    • A doctorate and experience in the particular field is a must. No more non-liturgists running liturgy, diplomats running theology, etc.
  • If anything, the ordinary minister of any curia should be a deacon.
    • If a presbyter is not theologically or canonically required for a position, it should not normally be given to a presbyter.
    • Lay ecclesial ministers, theologians, other lay persons, religious, and some priests or bishops may also be called upon, but they should ordinarily then be ordained to the diaconate (if appropriate).
    • This could be a good example of a place where the return of the deaconess, or of women in the diaconate, would be appropriate.
  • The diplomatic corps should be reformed
    • The same considerations as for the curia, though perhaps a doctorate is not necessary.
    • The ordinary ministers of the diplomatic corps should be deacons
    • The ecclesiastical academy should be open to all qualified, fully initiated Catholics
    • Candidates should not be drawn from seminary, but should either be a separate track or have proven field experience first
    • The nuncio should not be a bishop, but a deacon (perhaps an archdeacon, or protodeacon), unless they have already been ordained a bishop before being called to diplomatic service.
  • Communication – one apparatus to rule them all. There are what, seven different offices for communication in the Vatican? Things have improved a little, but this really needs to be coordinated. Also, people, even cardinals, whose competence is in a specific area should not be publicly speaking on the record about other areas (e.g., the President of the PCPCU should not be talking about liturgical changes, and the Prefect of the CDW should not be making ecumenical judgments.)
  • The councils and congregations should be made up of committees of the synod – or from the episcopal conferences. The staff should really be staff to these committees, not the driving force.
  • All dicasteries are equal, according to Pastor Bonus, but some dicasteries appear more equal than others. Change that. The Council for Christian Unity should be able to promulgate policy with the same authority as the Congregation for the Doctrine fo the Faith
  • Ecumenical review of doctrinal, liturgical, and canonical decisions – the PCPCU should be involved in the vetting process of decisions made by the CDF, CDW, etc. to help formulate the best policy that is both orthodox and ecumenically helpful. The reverse is already true and should continue.
  • The Secretariat of State should focus on diplomacy, not act as moderator of the curia or, generally, mediator on local ecclesiastical issues. Let there be a separate office to organize the work of the curia.
  • Most theologians are laity, true? Certainly in the western world, but I think now also universally. This should be reflected in the staff of the dicasteries, the pontifical academies, and in the pontifical universities. Though, in the case of the curia, they could be ordained to the diaconate once selected for office.
  • The support staff in many offices is quasi-hereditary, and almost exclusively Italian. If only there were a bunch of universities nearby with graduate students from all over the world looking for internships, assistantships, and part time work, we could tap into some of the greatest young talent the church has to offer… oh well…

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1 Comment

  1. […] I suggested in my wish list, these responsibilities should probably be separated from the foreign relations dicastery. In canon […]

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