Saturday, August 31, 2013

The New Secretary Of State? (Updated)

Rocco Palma is reporting that it will be Archbishop Parolin if Venezuela. It's an interesting move given that His Excellency is far more a diplomat than an administrator. As Palma points out, the main questions about this appointment is how the position will coordinate/interact with the Super-Curia that was appointed some months ago.

Interesting, and also a bit weird.


Looking at the Rorate report on this issue, they claim that Archbishop Parolin is "considered very close" to Cardinal Sodano. Hoo Boy. I'm not saying that this means they are cut from the same cloth, but it's not a particularly good sign either. Cardinal Sodano's actions relating to the abuse scandal, specifically as it relates to the Legionnaires of Christ, is problematic at best. Nobody ever said reforming the Curia would be easy.

Let us recall that the wolves that surrounded Pope Benedict haven't left and pray for the current Holy Father as he carries out his mission.


Anonymous said...

I think Secretaries of State have usually been diplomats and Pope Benedict was criticized for picking someone who lacked a strong diplomatic background. After all, a nuncio isn't just a diplomat in the ordinary sense but is also experienced in facilitating the relationship between the Pope and the bishops, which is pretty central to the job of the Secretary of State and the whole curia.

Also, it might be that the Pope picked a diplomat because he and his reform committee are leaning towards having the Secretariat focus more on diplomacy and less on other things. There's been talk about shrinking the Secretariat and spinning off some of it's non-diplomatic, administrative functions (like by establishing a Moderator of the Curia or combining the Secretariat's General Affairs Section with the Governorato of the Vatican City-State).

Throwback said...

Right. The weirdness in question relates more to the expressed need for internal reforms and that the Archbishop Parolin doesn't seem to be a choice that is cast in that mold.

Which, as you said and as I hinted at, means that the Secretariat is going to be a lot different under Pope Francis and that the Super Curia is probably going to be main organ for any reform.

Anonymous said...

I see. OK, I pretty much agree, but I think he's still going to need someone present in the curia to lead the implementation of curial reform; it just doesn't have to be the Secretary of State. It may be a "moderator of the curia" or some other new or amped-up office. But they'd be implementing the plan made by the committee of Cardinals, as modified by the Pope, so I agree with you that the committee will probably be the main author of reform. And the Pope seems to see a lot of need for reform beyond the curia itself, in relations between the universal churches and the particular churches and the world, and the secretary of state may be crucial to that.