Although proponents of Vatican reform usually speak of a more “collegial” approach to Church governance, Pope Francis has shown a tendency to act on his own, even ignoring existing rules, notes a Vatican journalist.
Andrea Gagliarducci notes that during his first 6 months in office, Pope Francis has appointed several new committees, acting on his own.
He has named a new Secretary of State who is not a cardinal, although Pastor Bonus says that the office must be held by a cardinal, and ignored similar requirements in other appointments.
Gagliarducci suggests that in this pontificate, “action lies outside the institution and takes place without observing or reforming the rules.”
Gagliarducci – who has written several recent articles defending the record of the outgoing Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone – also detects a papal tendency to downgrade the importance of the Secretariat of State and to strengthen the ties between the work of the Holy See and the pastoral activities of the Rome diocese.