Are the Vatican priests being sacked and sent home before Christmas upholders of the Benedictine reforms?

It has been rumoured for months in the Vatican that a list has been compiled by Pope Francis’ inner circle of curial priests to be dismissed from their posts and sent back to their dioceses before Christmas. What is disturbing is that no explanation is being given, they are just being told to pack up and go.

The latest series of dismissals confirms the report run by the National Catholic Register in November about the existence of this list:

‘VATICAN CITY — At least 30 priests employed in Vatican departments may be removed from their posts and sent to dioceses in the following months, according to three different Vatican sources.

“The Congregation for Clergy will be the first of the list,” a Vatican source familiar with the congregation told CNA.

Four priests employed in the congregation have been called to serve in dioceses. Among them is Msgr. Luciano Alimandi, who had been private secretary for a number of years to the department’s former head, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos.

According to the source, Msgr. Alimandi and the other three were “all part of Cardinal Mauro Piacenza’s inner circle.” He was prefect of the Congregation for Clergy until last September.

Cardinal Piacenza was appointed to lead the Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary tribunal on Sept. 21. Archbishop Beniamino Stella replaced him as prefect for the Congregation of the Clergy.

A second source who had been recently in touch with Archbishop Stella explained to CNA that “many changes are awaited in the congregation.”

The source also maintained that “Pope Francis seemingly wants to have fewer employees in the Vatican departments and aims to send the most priests he can to serve in parishes and dioceses.”

Pope Francis’ reform, the source said, “would give more power to the local bishops. In the past, when there was a difficult case to handle, an official of the congregation was sent for an onsite visit to report on it. In the future, local bishops could be entrusted with these reports, thus taking part of the work of the Vatican dicasteries.”

According to another source who spoke to CNA and asked not to be identified, “The changes would involve all the Vatican departments.”

The source said that, “when appointed as a member of the council of right cardinals, Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello made several visits to Vatican congregations, asking each of them for a list of people the congregation could do without.”

According to the source, the list will include about 30 people, all priests. The source added that “some of the priests had been requested back by their home dioceses.”

Protect the Pope comment: With the sidelining of  Cardinal Piacenza, Cardinal Burke and Archbishop Muller, it may be revealing to learn the names of those curial priests who have been summarily dismissed. Are the upholders of the Benedictine reforms being purged from Rome?


14 comments to Are the Vatican priests being sacked and sent home before Christmas upholders of the Benedictine reforms?

  • Bosco

    “Are the Vatican priests being sacked and sent home before Christmas upholders of the Benedictine reforms?”
    My eldest son used to ‘break-up’ with his girlfriends just before Christmas. When I asked him why he said that way he saved money on Christmas presents. (He’s still single at age 44 by the way.)
    Maybe this is a Christmas gift thing going on at the Vatican.

  • Lisa Graas

    Subsidiarity? ;-)

  • Nicholas Dyson

    The aggiornamento is definitely on the agenda again!

  • Lola

    Obedience is a professed vow by those in Holy Orders. The priest just packs up and go where he is sent. Great news, I reckon. The return of these priests to their respective home dioceses will only benefit the faithful and can make a difference in their local parishes, especially so if their backbone is Benedictine and Ignatian.

    • John

      Quite so. It is no bad thing to reduce the size of the administration at the Vatican. There is a huge need for Priests on the ground, in parishes administering the Sacraments, this how ever small the number is can only help. It is to be hoped that this will continue. It is also to be hoped that clergy called to Rome to help in a Curial a Department, will only spend a short time in t his service, five at the outside ten years before returning to pastoral work in their diocese, I include the bishops and even Cardinals called to service in the Curia. This is good news for the Church.

      • pattif

        In actual fact, the size, in personnel terms, of the Roman curia is tiny in comparison with the size of the Church. If you telephone a dicastry, the chances of the person who picks up tbe phone being the person who can deal with your query is many times greater than if you telepbone a typical Town Hall department. I am getting a bit tired of it being open season on members of the Roman curia, most of whom work very hard to do a good job for the Church. I would many times prefer my life to be governed by the Roman curia than by diocesan curial officials; the former at least treat members of the laity with courtesy.

        • John

          Pattif, all you say is true, and I for one would not wish to criticise those who work in the various departments. The qualities of many are great, however I would still say that in order to do the best for the church we should have a very small Curia, with regular rotation in and out, not least so as many of our best people are in direct pastoral contact with people most of the time.

          As for diocesan Curias, most are too big, filled with placement, and rather out of touch. I would prescribe the same medicine, smaller, plenty of rotation and more pastorally focused.

          There is much talk of the New Evangelisation, I believe that this has some rather simple ingredients:

          Good Pastors, who have the ‘smell of the sheep’
          A re activation of parish visiting, in some areas a thing of the past, one clergyman I discussed this with recently said he did not have time, though he could find people who might be able to do it. I note that this person is able to attend all sorts of other meetings, in all sorts of places, regularly yay ends cultural events, so I was bemused by his reluctance to do the basics of his vocation. Not much smell of the sheep there.
          An emphasis on the Sacraments
          Regular presence of priests in our schools
          A move away fro a programme led church, no one was ever saved by a programme!
          At least weekly Eucharistic Adoration in our parishes
          A sense of prayer
          Holy priests
          Courageous Bishops
          Orthodox Bishops

          There is much more, however if some of ese priests who are being sent back to their diocese are men of this sort, then I am very hopeful, and we have great times ahead!

        • Nicolas Bellord

          Pattif: Hear! Hear!

  • BJC

    The ‘night of the long knives’ continues.

  • Deacon Paul

    On a purely mathematical note, if the nearly 3000 Diocese of the Catholic Church now have to do locally that which they used to send to Rome, it is unlikely to reduce the headcount of priests in administrative roles.

  • Before a demolition you need to clear the area of anyone who might get in the way.

  • Kinga Gray - Grzeczynska LLB

    Clean up time!

    We could do with it here also!

    Happy Christmas to all.

    Kinga Grzeczynska

  • Fr. Philip

    Its time that pope Francis appoints like-minded clerics to his departments to run the church as the holy spirit has chosen and guided Francis. There is no absolute and permanent jobs and card. Burke should thank God the opportunity he had and quit with grace and be a chaplain at EWTN , which will be a good place for him to spend a life of prayer and penance .I was John XX111-Paul V1 Priest ,and I try to live hopefully under saint-to-be John Paul11 and Benedict XV1, my professor . At this time of my life I am happy for pope Francis.I don’t like to see american bishops giving lukewarm loyalty to Francis , again its their choice . American catholics are still loyal to the church .We can all pray for pope Francis that he may transform the church in the image of Jesus Christ the humble teacher and savior of the world

    • Wake up England

      Father Philip:

      You say “I was john XX111 – Paul V1 Priest” (sic).

      Are we to suppose, therefore, that you are no longer a priest?

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