Scandals won’t deflect Pope from reform: Cardinal

Despite opposition from some quarters and fresh revelations of Vatican scandal, Pope Francis is at peace with his reformist course, a senior advisor says.

Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga said that anyone trying to do good “will have opposition”.

“The books of the Bible said, especially the Book of Wisdom, ‘If you want to follow the Lord, prepare to the battle.’ And the Pope is prepared,” the cardinal said after a US conference.

“It’s a revolution going on (in the Vatican). But a revolution of love, and hope,” Cardinal Rodriguez said.

Cardinal Rodriguez also said that the latest reports of excessive spending and political machinations by officials of the Roman Curia only confirm the need to press ahead with an overhaul of the papal bureaucracy.

Two books detailing financial mismanagement and scandals at the Vatican are being published this week.

The Vatican has said the revelations in the books are based on information that Francis himself requested in the early months of his pontificate as he sought to tackle corruption.

Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ, rejected the notion of “a permanent reign of confusion” in the Vatican.

He said that under Francis the reforms are ongoing. Francis “knows the situation, he knows what needs to be done, and how to proceed”.

Cardinal Rodriguez — who said he had not yet read the two books — also said in an interview in New York that Francis will not be swayed or discouraged and will continue to clean house in Rome.

A Spanish priest and an Italian laywoman were arrested last weekend at the Vatican after an investigation into “misappropriation and disclosure of classified documents and information”.

Both were former members of a commission that Pope Francis set up shortly after his election in 2013 to advise him on economic and bureaucratic reforms in the Curia.

The woman, Francesca Chaouqui, was subsequently released after co-operating with authorities.

She is reported to be a friend of one of the authors of the latest books, but she has protested her innocence.

The priest, Msgr Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, the secretary of the Vatican’s Prefecture for Economic Affairs, belongs to a priestly society linked to Opus Dei, which expressed “surprise and pain” at his arrest.

Sources

News category: World.

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