Tuesday, March 28

The Pope reforms the Curia to give more space to the laity and women in the Church

Nine years of pontificate, dozens of meetings with the group of cardinals that advises him, difficulties, obstacles and work that was already being carried out, de facto, in the different dicasteries. All to “preach the Gospel” and do it better, thinking of the Lord’s favorites and not so much of a stagnant and self-referential Curia. These are the axes of ‘Praedicate Evangelium’the long-awaited reform of the Curia, which came to light this Saturday, completely by surprise, coinciding with the ninth anniversary of the beginning of the Pontificate of Pope Francis.

It will enter into force on June 5, the feast of Pentecost, and opens the door to a greater presence of lay people and women in the administration.

Support for the role of laity, women and marriages in the future

Pope Francis makes it clear that “every Christian is a missionary disciple” and that “the Pope, bishops and other ordained ministers are not the only evangelizers in the Church.” In this way, “updating the Curia must provide for the participation of the laity, also in functions of government and responsibility.”

“Their presence and participation is also indispensable, because they cooperate for the good of the whole Church and, through their family life, their knowledge of social realities and their faith that leads them to discover the ways of God in the world, they can make valid contributions , especially with regard to the promotion of the family and respect for the values ​​of life and creation, the Gospel as leaven for temporal realities and discernment of the signs of the times”, the Pope points out. thus giving a definitive accolade to the role of laity, married couples, women and young people in the present and future of the Church.

The Pope and the College of Bishops

Regarding the role of the Pope and the bishops, Francis admits that, even today, “in the Church, a hierarchically organized society, the Roman Pontiff, successor of Peter, the Roman Pontiff, successor of Peter, and the Bishops, successors of the Apostles, are united in a single episcopal body”, with “hierarchical communion with the head of the College and with its members, that is, with the College itself”.

In this sense, the Pope recognizes the mission of the episcopal conferences, as a symbol of episcopal communion, and that they represent, today, “one of the most significant ways of expressing and serving ecclesial communion in the different regions together with the Roman Pontiff, guarantor of the unity of faith and communion.

Regarding the Roman Curia, the Pope considers that its work “is also in organic relationship with the College of Bishops and with the individual Bishops, and also with the Episcopal Conferences and their regional and continental Unions, and the Eastern hierarchical structures , which are of great pastoral utility and express the affective and effective communion between the Bishops”.

“The Curia is not between the Pope and the Bishops”

“The Roman Curia is not between the Pope and the Bishops”, explains the Pontiff. “The Roman Curia does not stand between the Pope and the Bishops, but rather places itself at the service of both in the ways proper to the nature of each one.” In fact, another of the objectives of the reform, as Bergoglio explains, is to “strengthen” the episcopal conferences, “without acting as an interposition between the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops, but rather being at their full service”.

In fact, the competencies contained in the document “are intended to express the collegial dimension of the episcopal ministry and, indirectly, strengthen ecclesial communion”, specifying the joint exercise of certain pastoral functions for the good of the faithful of their respective nations or of a certain territory.

All the information in www.religiondigital.org.