Pope sets up council to study Church reforms



Pope Francis. FILE PHOTO

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis on Saturday set up a group of cardinals to advise him on church governance and study reforms, marking the new pontiff’s first step toward reforming the Catholic Church’s opaque administration.

In a brief statement, the Vatican said that Francis had named eight cardinals from around the world to the group that will examine updating the constitution of the Roman Curia – the Church administration which analysts say is badly in need of reform.

The cardinals include two Europeans (Italy and Germany), two from Latin America (Chile and Honduras), one from North America (USA), one from Asia (India), one African and one Australian.

The announcement came a month after Francis was elected leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics and a week after he made his first appointment to the scandal-hit Vatican bureaucracy, naming a leader of the main Franciscan order as the number two of the institution that oversees all Catholic religious orders.

Vatican observers are eagerly awaiting other key nominations to top Curia posts expected in the coming weeks, which could provide vital insights into the new pope’s intentions for the Church.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Manuel_II

    Yes to church reform, you should tell your priest not to meddle in politics and concentrate only on religious matter.


    • Mang Teban

      If you are a Catholic, you should be ashamed of yourself saying “you should tell your priest not to meddle in politics..” because you are totally clueless that the lay Catholics are represented by the priest. The average ratio is one priest for every 50,000 lay Catholics.

      Therefore, politics affect the lives of ordinary people and the priest as shepherd of his parish or community speak for the sake of the lay members of the Catholic Church. Even non-Catholic Ed Villanueva speaks correctly that the doctrine of separation of Church and State refers only to that which the State is disallowed to favor one religion and declare itself a government of that predominant religion. So, this doctrine has been selectively used by anti-Catholics to prevent the huge MAJORITY of Filipino Catholics in this country from being represented EQUITABLY on State affairs such as the obnoxious, pretentious healthcare RH law when the main agenda is contraception which is against Catholic’s religious liberties to believe that contraception is evil. Contraception is against God’s purpose of creation.

      If you are not a Catholic, please stop meddling in the affairs of the Church where you do not belong. Pwede ba, Manuel_II?

      • Edgar Lores

        There are many interpretations of the doctrine of separation of church and state. The interpretations form a continuum from loose separation to strict separation. I do not accept Mr Villanueva’s interpretation. I prefer the strict interpretation which is that any church can express its opinion on social matters but it cannot – must not – actively interfere in matters of the state. It must not, for example, campaign against the RH Law. If you wish to practice contraception, by all means. But do not prevent the state from dispensing contraceptive help in the interest of social equity and justice.

        So the question is: Who is to say which interpretation of the separation doctrine is correct? Certainly, not me. Certainly, not Mr Villanueva. Certainly, not you. If at all, we (that is the Supreme Court) must arrive at a determination and a consensus. Until such a determination is arrived at, it is prudent that we adhere to the strict interpretation.

      • Mang Teban

        Your reply is a labyrinth. Why don’t your respect other people’s interpretation such as that of Bro. Eddie Villanueva’s?

      • Edgar Lores

        I do respect the opinion of others. I just don’t necessarily agree with their opinions.

    • $44479964

      Turn a blind eye when political leaders are looking after their selfish interests?

  • Edgar Lores

    Does this mean that the Pope’s infallibility consist in passing issues to a committee to propose solutions and not in being direct contact with the Holy Spirit to guide him unerringly?

    • Mang Teban

      Edgar, are you trying to be cute?
      You ask a seemingly subtle question filled with malicious phrases on the pope.
      What do you care anyway?

      Are you even realizing the foolishness of your question? Are you a multi-tasker able to do multiple tasks all at the same time? Can the pope not appoint cardinals to help him work out solutions to reform the Church? How do you understand the workings by the Holy Spirit? Please stop to demean the job of the pope and the Holy Spirit.

      • Islander

        Edgar is right. Francis should spend more time consulting with the Holy Spirit rather than with fallible cardinals. Even Mary herself should make an apparition in the Papal chamber rather than in remote boondocks constantly yakking about the rosary. She can enlighten the pope about reforms.

      • Mang Teban

        Of course, you say Edgar is right because you are looking for a supporter. Why don’t you answer my question I posed earlier on your comment to my comment? If you ain’t a Catholic, why are you bothered?

      • Edgar Lores

        I will answer for myself and NY_Pinoy. We are bothered because we care. We care that that the Church abuses its power for immoral ends. We care that the Church would impose its sectarian hegemony over every soul. We care that the Church claims to have a morality that it does not practice. We care because we are all brothers and yet you set yourselves to be separate and above us all when truly you are not. We care because you affect our lives and we are interconnected and dependent on each other. We care for a thousand reasons.

        Sir, the question then is: Do you care that we care? Seriously, now.

      • Mang Teban

        Really? O M G!

      • Edgar Lores

        Is that your best answer? Invoking the Almighty for help?

      • Edgar Lores

        Mang Teban,

        You are characterized as a Catholic apologist and troll, which means that you are impervious to Reason. But allow me to satisfy my curiosity. So this one time, I will give you the opportunity to rationally explain your side. And so I am replying to your comment.

        My answer to your question of being cute is: Satire is a method of arriving at truth. I assure you I am very serious and I care very much.

        May I return the question, sir: Are you serious? If you are, let me pose the question I left on Ms. Monsod’s latest column: How do you reconcile your acceptance and support of the Church in the face of its moral corruption as evidenced by the sexual failings of the clergy and the consequent institutional cover-ups? I would be grateful if you would answer, and not give the usual answers of quoting scripture or the saints or give such excuses as that the clergy, including the pope, are men with normal failings.

        I do not need to demean the Church. I do not have the intention nor do I have to. It is doing a good job of that by itself.

        And let me pose another series of questions because I am ignorant of the workings of the Holy Spirit (HS): Is it your belief that the HS influences the selection of the Pope? If that is so, does that mean that the HS intervenes in the workings of the world? And if that is so, does that further mean that the evil in the world – part of it or the whole of it – can be laid at the ghostly feet of the HS?

        Seriously, now, I would like to see the quality of your reasoning. Perhaps you can enlighten us.

        Please note I have left replies to two other of your comments. It would be good if you could consolidate your replies and give us the benefit of the Gospel of or according to Mang Teban. Or the benefit of silence.

      • Mang Teban

        Everything you said is crap. I owe you no further explanation because your malice is all over the place. However, I decided to write a reply meant for other readers who may pass by and who are sincere and honest to know the meaning behind the Catholic beliefs. You already exposed your utter disdain on Catholics to dare me with a hypocritical remarks.

        God has three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Holy Spirit who is unseen but dwells on believers is GOD. Why shouldn’t God not be involved in the selection of the pope? Is God to leave by chance the choosing of a pope to the Devil? Not only for choosing a pope, God works through His person as Holy Spirit who breathes life and renews man to be strong and have faith. Thus, for Catholics, the Holy Spirit renews and refreshes us who are disheartened or losing hope.

        God intervenes when He deems it necessary. But, we cannot possibly comprehend everything that God does. However, Jesus lets us in with a tip – “Without Me, you can do absolutely nothing.” Jesus did what is in the gospel this Sunday, 14th of April. Jesus was unrecognized by his apostles who felt lost and afraid as he called out to Peter and others who were returning to the shore, empty-handed after a whole night at sea to fish. Jesus suggested to Peter to try once more to put down the next on the right side of his boat. There were large number of big fish almost about to break the net and was dragged to the shore by Peter’s friends. Jesus demonstrated the power of him as Son of God who is God.

        The sins of some of the Catholic clergy and the massive scandal brought by a few of these indiscretions by priests and bishops where some tried to cover up are not, in any way, being tolerated by the popes – from John Paul II to Benedict XVI to Francis. The two former popes apologized in public and had given instructions to cardinals and bishops all over the world to investigate and make reports to the Vatican. It had to take long for some of these cases dated back about 40 years ago. Surely, you know that until now the Vatican is actively pursuing these cases. Only the Catholic Church has been transparent about the wrong acts by her clergy. Does your denomination ever been truthful about cases of financial and sexual abuses in your “church”? What religion are you a member of, anyway?

        Pope Francis had already ordered the 8 cardinal-council to discuss and propose reforms for the Church. It is possible that the continuing investigations of the sins of those clergy involved will be included in the discussions of the new council. What more do these anti-Catholics need from the Catholic Church? Finding faults and weaknesses of others is not a charitable and productive endeavor. It is one of the workings of the Devil. Can you tell us more about it? I also need enlightenment.

      • Edgar Lores

        Thank you for your explanation.

        1.Ah, so God does intervene. But only in special circumstances like the selection of popes but not in massacres or tsunamis. What about the selection of Filipino bishops? What about the popes who sanctioned war, and murder, and allowed cover-ups, were they also selected by God?

        2. Why does not the Church confess the extent and depth of clerical paraphilia in kind and in number. Why does she not acknowledge her sins through the sacrament of confession so that she may be forgiven and be reconciled with God? Without confession there can be no redemption. Is that not what you believe?

        3. Francis has included the Archbishop of Sydney in the new council. Are you aware that Cardinal Pell is Number Five in the dirty dozen list compiled by SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)? When Pell was in charge of the Melbourne diocese, he opted not to join the Towards Healing protocol, which encourages victims of church sexual abuse to go to the police.

        4. Why do you attribute malice to me? Criticism is not necessarily malicious. It can be honesty, and all discourse is instructive if we don’t have closed minds and have the right attitude of openness. I do not often use satire, but sometimes it is a very effective tool. I may have the best of motives of lifting the consciousness of mankind to create a gentler world of mutual understanding.

        5. Look at your question above: “Are you even realizing the foolishness of your question?” Foolishness: isn’t that word malicious? You are saying that my question is “stupid and rash”.

        6. Therefore, finding faults and weaknesses in others – who would impose their limited mindset on the entire world – is a productive endeavor to rid the world of superstition and delusion. But as I can see, it is almost an impossible task because certain people would say it is the work of the Devil, little knowing that they might be speaking with the Devil’s tongue. Especially when, with the Devil’s arrogance, they dismiss other people’s opinions as crap.

      • Mang Teban

        You are hopeless.

      • Edgar Lores

        Thank you. But ad hominem.

  • Islander

    Nakakainis. Na-sideline na naman ang Pinas. Sa walo na reforming cardinals, di sinali ang Pinas. India ang kinuhang representative sa Asia. Akala ko ba tayo ang bulwark o bastion ek ek ek ng Catholicism sa Asia. Tayo na nga ang pinaka-loyalist na Catholics eh, more loyalist than Rome itself.

    • just_anotherperson

      Kung loyal ka, bakit ka naiinis?

    • Mang Teban

      Eh…ano naman ngayon kung walang Pinoy na cardinal sa pinili ni Pope Francis? Ano nawala sa iyo? Meron ka bang kaugnayan sa Simbahang Katolika? Kung wala, pa-eklat lang pala ang sinulat mo. Kung di ka naman Katoliko, naka-iinis din ba na ang relihiyon mo ay walang balita na maisulat sa pahayagan?

  • boybakal

    This Pope is more political than evangelical.

  • nano

    I had a talk to my neighbor he said if the catholic church want reform , they have to change first the Dogma ,otherwise its all cosmetic.If he`s right ? lets wait.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos