NEWSFLASH: Cardinal O’Malley named to Vatican Reform Committee

April 13, 2013

Today, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has set up a committee of eight cardinals from around the world to advise him on how to reform the Roman Curia. Cardinal Sean O’Malley is one of the eight.  Here is the Vatican statement:

The Holy Father Francis, taking up a suggestion that emerged during the General Congregations preceding the Conclave, has established a group of cardinals to advise him in the government of the universal Church and to study a plan for revising the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, ‘Pastor Bonus’.

The group consists of:

– Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State;
– Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, archbishop emeritus of Santiago de Chile, Chile;
– Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, India;
– Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany;
– Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo;
– Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley O.F.M. Cap., archbishop of Boston, USA;
– Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia;
– Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, S.D.B., archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in the role of coordinator; and
– Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Italy, in the role of secretary.

The group’s first meeting has been scheduled for 1-3 October 2013. His Holiness is, however, currently in contact with the aforementioned cardinals.

News reports say that the committee will advise Pope Francis on how to reform the Catholic Church’s “troubled central administration.”  Reports say, “The basic failings of the Curia were aired, sometimes passionately, at closed-door meetings of cardinals before they retired into the conclave that elected Francis.”

BCI finds it ironic that Cardinal O’Malley has been appointed to a committee to reform the Roman Curia, when his own central administration is troubled and he has failed to effectively govern and reform it for the past decade.  Someone just suggested to BCI that Cardinal O’Malley serving on a committee to help reform the Roman Curia would be kind of like Hillary Clinton serving on a committee to help reform international embassy security.

In Boston, for nearly 3 years we have been documenting the ongoing problems of:

  • Nearly $4M annually in excessive six-figure salaries paid to lay executives
  • Moving around of funds from originally designated purposes to someplace else
  • Skyrocketing administrative expenses
  • Cronyism in hiring
  • Deception in communications and in policy making
  • Retention of Finance Council members and key advisers to the Cardinal who work against Catholic Church teachings
  • Routine violations of the archdiocesan Code of Conduct
  • Incompetence by high paid cabinet members
  • Draining of capital reserves to pay operating expenses
  • $140M in unpaid debt, with no plan to be able to repay the debt
  • 34% decline in Mass attendance between 2000 and 2012
  • 40-50% of parishes operating in the red
  • Abdication of leadership by Cardinal O’Malley and a failure by him to teach through his actions and words.

Other than those minor matters, everything is just great in Boston.  Just a few of these problems are described in this recent blog post.

As Cardinal O’Malley embarks on this new assignment, we humbly put forward the Gospel of Matthew 7:3-5:

Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite,remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.

We hope and pray that Cardinal O’Malley takes time during the next 5-6 months before the Vatican committee meets to first clean up the house in Boston and remove some of the largest wooden beams here.

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