Pope Francis will surely be remembered as one of the greatest reformers the Church has ever had. It is enough to enter the site of the Holy See, click on the section Francesco to find the pontifical acts of which the Holy Father has made use in order to read throughout the years of his pontificate.
Questo 5 giugno 2022 entra in vigore la Costituzione Apostolica Praedicate Evangeliumwhich governs the Roman Curia and its service to the Church.
In this way, the name of Francesco joins the list of Popes who have reformed the group of organizations that assists the Popes in the governance of the Church.
From Sisto V with the 'Immensae Aeterni Dei' (1588), passing through San Pio X with the 'Sapienti consilio' (1908), San Paolo VI with the 'Regimini Ecclesiae universi' (1967) and San Giovanni Paolo II with the 'Pastor Bonus' (1988).
This is a much awaited reform since, in 2013, Francis announced the creation of a Cardinal Council to assist him in the governance of the Church and to collaborate in writing a new constitution for the Roman Curia. But how much does the Roman Curia count? Although it is not essential to the constitution of the Church, the work it carries out is not little. Today the senior officials assist the Pope in the direction of the entire Church, which according to the Annuario Pontificio is composed of more than 1.3 billion faithful. We understand why this set of rules, which finally saw the light of day on March 19, 2022, was so long awaited.
Una riforma avanzata
There is no doubt that Pope Francis opted for an advanced reform. For the rest, the current apostolic constitution provides for a series of reforms that the Pope had already foreseen since the beginning of his pontificate.
An example is the Dicastero per la Dottrina della Fede, which was reformatted on February 14 with the motu proprio '.Fidem servare'.which has set up two sections in place of the four offices it had before: one for disciplinary matters and the other for disciplinary matters, each with its own secretary and under the direction of the head of the dicastery.
Another change, an advanced reform, has been the creation of the Dicastero per il Servizio dello Sviluppo Umano Integrale, which has taken on four pontifical councils: the Pontifical Council for the 'Cor Unum'.The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People and finally the Pontifical Pastoral Council for Health Care Workers.
Praedicate Evangelium' evaluation
What assessment can we make of the 'Praedicate Evangelium'.?
A positive element is the simplification of the curia's organization chart, thus eliminating some of the bureaucratic barriers typical of such a complex organization.
Another element is to have strengthened the purpose of the curia, which is to assist the pope in the mission of the Church. Hence the name of the apostolic constitution, which alludes to Christ's command to his apostles to preach the Gospel.
At the same time, the Pope emphasizes that the Roman Curia has the duty to strengthen the relationship between Peter's successor, the Episcopal Collegium and the Oriental Hierarchical Structures. Also with the various vescovi, and with the various national, regional or continental organizations.
This is an essential point for the success of the reform: to remember the reason for which the Church exists, that is, to serve all souls in order to achieve salvation.
In this way we will be freed from human, political or ideological visions that should not have a place in the Church, otherwise the mission that Christ has entrusted to it would be fulfilled.