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Curia reform tipped to decentralise Church decision-making

VATICAN (Agencies): Reforms at the Vatican should give the Roman Curia a more international face, but should not concentrate on meeting geographical quotas, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, one of the eight appointed by Pope Francis to advise on Curia reforms, explained to the Catholic Register in Toronto, Canada, on August 19.

The archbishop of Bombay said that the eight cardinals have been conferring with each other and each member of the committee has met with Pope Francis. The group’s formal deliberations will begin in October, but the Indian cardinal said that he expects a meeting with the other cardinals before that time.

“We were speaking of Italian predominance,” Cardinal Gracias said. He explained that the bishops want the Vatican to reflect the universal Church. “However,” he added, “I’m not overly sensitive or overly concerned about national representation.” He added that he believes they should avoid any provincial outlook.

Cardinal Gracias predicted that the Church would move toward a greater decentralisation in decision-making, giving more responsibility to national bishops’ conferences. He added that the episcopal conferences would need to be more responsible, more accountable and to shoulder additional tasks.

He observed that today, most bishops’ conferences look to Rome for guidance rather than making their own decisions.


He added that Pope Francis sees all reform proposals in terms of their value for evangelisation. He disclosed that the pope has asked all members of the eight-cardinal committee to reread Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Evangelisation in our Time (Evangelii Nuntiandi).

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