Can Pope Francis' Council of Cardinals Still Deliver on Reform?

Can Pope Francis' Council of Cardinals Still Deliver on Reform?
AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

By most accounts, Pope Francis was elected with a mandate to reform the Roman Curia, the complex network of dicasteries, commissions and councils charged with the central administrative work of the Catholic Church — a network that, even to insiders and experts, more often resembles a rabbit warren than a well-defined system of governable offices with clear responsibilities.

From the beginning, there were high expectations for Francis and widespread belief that he could succeed in reforming the Curia. His informality and disdain for protocol — his ability to think “outside the box” — led many to believe that, under his leadership, the Curial wilds could be tamed.

One month after his election, he made his first major reform announcement: the creation of the “council of cardinals,” tasked with helping him review and reform the entire governing structure of both the Roman Curia and the universal Church.

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