Interview: Cardinal’s doubts about Vatican reform

A US cardinal said he has some unanswered questions about the practicality of proposed reforms in the Roman Curia, the Vatican’s main administrative bureaucracy, although he praised efforts to clean up Vatican finances and to combat clergy sexual abuse.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, also told Crux in a wide-ranging interview on Saturday that he’s skeptical about proposals to allow divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

That’s especially significant since DiNardo, vice president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, was recently elected by US bishops as one of four US delegates to an October Synod of Bishops at the Vatican, where that issue is expected to be debated.

On the subject of Vatican reform, DiNardo was reacting to a presentation given to all the cardinals of the world on Thursday by the pope’s council of nine cardinal advisors, which featured the idea of creating two new “super-departments,” one for justice and peace and the other for the laity and the family, by combining a number of smaller offices.

“But how are they going to do that, to find a way to put together a number of Vatican congregations?” he asked. “If you do that, the structure has to be different. And that I did not hear,” he said.

Other suggestions for reform, such as including lay people at the highest level of Church governance, will face resistance, he said.

“It’s fine by me,” he said of including laypeople generally. “The problem is, to bring anybody in as a head, there’s a question the canonists raise, can [a layperson] be head if they have delegated power [from the pope]?”

He said it isn’t possible to have laypeople lead major Vatican departments, such as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

“You’re dealing with issues relative to theology and the very dimension of the faith. I think the pope wants somebody there who’s at least a bishop,” he said. Continue reading

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