Pope Francis Governing II
All his own work
An interesting insight into the inner workings of Pope Francis' effective personal Curia has been given by famed Italian journalist Sandro Magister in the Italian magazine L'Espresso.
Magister points out that the Holy Father seems in no hurry to effect immediate change within the institutional Curia which continues about its business. The group of Cardinals appointed by the Holy Father to assist him in the reform of the Curia will not meet until October. However it is well known that one member at least, Cardinal George Pell, has spent a considerable time in Rome since being nominated as a member of the Group. No doubt others have been similarly occupied.
Meanwhile Pope Francis has gathered about him his own mini parallel "Curia" which Magister terms the "Segretariola" - a term once applied to a similar group formed by Pope Saint Pius X when he found problems within the Curia proper.
The members of Pope Francis' mini Curia are:
Monsignor Alfred Xuereb (Maltese) former Second Secretary to Pope Benedict XVI
Mons. Fabian Pedacchio Leaniz (Argentinian) a Canon Lawyer and official of the Congregation for Bishops.
Monsignor Guillermo Javier Karcher (Argentinian) a Pontifical Master of Ceremonies on protocol duties with the Secretariat of State.(Seen above with visiting Argentinian politician.)
Mons.Scotti Bottom Right Corner
Monsignor Assunto "Tino" Scotti(Italian from Bergamo) Dean of the Camera Apostolica which administers the goods of the Holy See during the Sede Vacante period , and a Supervisor in General Affairs in the Secretariat of State. Among his duties is supervision of who is admitted to the Holy Father's morning Mass.
Magister write in measured terms about the difficulties of this type of operation with its limited capacity to scrutinize matters coming forward for decision. Indeed there have already been two embarrassing stumbles: the most public was the appointment of Monsignor Battista Ricca to the IOR the Vatican Bank.
It was to come to light very publicly that various files on Mons Ricca in Rome had been "sanitized" to remove any trace of his scandalous sexual life when in the diplomatic service. Journalists uncovered the counterpart documents in various overseas embassies of the Holy See.
Pope Francis had been entirely in the dark about the man's true record when making the appointment with which he was personally heavily identified.
Unfortunately another gaffe has been brought to light in the making of appointments. On July 18th the Holy Father appointed a Commission of laypeople headed by one cleric to oversee the reorganization of the economic and administrative affairs of the Holy See. This too was done with considerable publicity as evidence of the reform process at work.
However it is now revealed that one of the members 30years old Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, an Italian- Egyptian woman who speaks of her friendships with a number of Cardinals in the Curia in her public communications work, actually boasts of her direct connection with Gianluigi Nuzzi who was the receiver of the documents stolen from Pope Benedict XVI . It was that theft which prompted the whole Curial reform movement. Furthermore it transpires she is also an assiduous informant for a website that is the most popular source of gossip and slander about the Holy See in all Italy.
Plainly doing it "my way" has its perils- especially when one has made enemies wholesale by publicly threatening their reform en masse.The old saying that " discretion is the better part of valour" comes to mind, not to mention "softly, softly catchee monkey”. It is apparent that there are and have been some villains in the works, and it is all too easy for them with their knowledge of the problems they have created, to find ways to trip up an enemy who proceeds in a naive manner.
The longer this pattern of operation persists the more damage is done to the development of good institutional governance, and the more the problems will pile up for later resolution.Good intentions, even the best, are not enough.