Pope Francis Seeks to Reform Catholic Church
Pope Francis has appointed a group of eight Cardinals to discuss reform within the Catholic Church. Pastor Bonus, the Apostolic Constitution written by Pope John Paul II in 1988, will be studied by the eight men who come from all parts of the world. They will be seeking information about changing the rules of the Roman Curia, or church hierarchy.
The eight Cardinals include U. S. Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston. The others are Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Vatican City State governorate; Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa from Chile; Oswald Gracias from India; Reinhard Marx from Germany; Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; George Pell from Australia; and Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga from Honduras. Their first meeting will be in October.
The Vatican stressed that they are a group, and not a “council”, a “commission” or “committee”.
It “has no legislative power and its main function is to ‘advise’ the pope,” he said. “The group will not in any way interfere in the normal functions of the Roman Curia, which helps the Pope in the daily governance of the Church.”
Pope Francis is also taking steps to erase the effects of the “inquisition” and restore a relationship between the Church and science.
Galileo Galilei was forced to retract his “heretic” theory that the Earth moved around the Sun. Threatened with torture and interrogated for 18 days, the scientist, who was imprisoned in the 17th century, promised to never again teach the theory and spent the rest of his life under house arrest in his small farmhouse outside of Florence.
The fates of other scientists were worse. Some were executed for arguing against the teachings of the Church. Italian astronomer Giordano Bruno, who argued that the universe was infinite, was burned at the stake.
Pope Francis himself is a trained scientist. He was trained as a chemical technician before moving on to study philosophy, psychology and theology. In his inaugural speech he said: “Let us be “protectors” of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.”
Monsignor Tomasz Trafny, the Director of the Vatican’s Science and Faith Foundation, founded just last year, told CNN: “There was a time when theologians thought they understood everything, but we learned the lesson from history”.
“If you look at what is going on today you will see that theologians are very careful about what they are thinking or speaking about related to scientific issues,” he told reporters.
It seems apparent that the Cardinals involved in the Conclave made their choice a man who lives in the 21st century. And he had to be a man who was willing to accept the fact that he would be inheriting some of the most serious problems the Church has faced in modern times. Pope Francis “hit the ground running”, and seems to be addressing all of the issues the Church is facing simultaneously.
Columnist-The Guardian Express