The confidence comes at the end of an interview with a Vatican source. Of those that one holds in a small living room of a dicastery – since in the Vatican one never receives visitors in one’s office – or in the restaurants and cafes that populate the Borgo district. After discussing substantive issues, the conversation that day turns to the somewhat strange atmosphere that reigns in the Roman Curia and, in particular, to the publication of several books critical of Pope Francis.
“You know, the pope is a bit like our spiritual father, begins our interlocutor. In the early years, he showed us sin. Now he tells us the way we should go. Everyone remembers, in fact, in the Vatican, the very first speech on the “diseases” of the Curia, during the pope’s first Christmas in Rome, which had a profound effect on people’s minds. In the weeks that followed, and on the advice of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who died in 2018, the pope had started a kind of tour of the dicasteries, going to see each of the members working for his central administration.
Over the years, the pope’s frontal criticism of his services has diminished somewhat in form, but mistrust has remained. Maintained by the pope himself, who set up and then cultivated strong networks of parallel work. Nevertheless, Francis has never ceased to “show the way in which (the Curia) must go,” to use the words of our Vatican source for the day. Orientations that are embodied in Francis in the hope that the reform of the Curia will not only pass through a reorganization of structures but through the pursuit of a spiritual goal: to serve the Gospel.
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