Pope sets up council to study Church reforms

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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.

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