Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Archbishop Smith sees ‘dysfunctional' curia

The Tablet (UK)
March 20, 2013

The Archbishop of Southwark Peter Smith has urged Pope Francis to reform the "dysfunctional" Roman Curia and give bishops a greater say in the running of the Church.

Commenting for the BBC at the inauguration of Pope Francis in Rome on Tuesday, Archbishop Smith - who is vice-president of the bishops' conference of England and Wales - said some members of the curia, the central administrative body of the Holy See, had become "very set in their ways" and had taken upon themselves "an authority they haven't got".

He said: "My experience is that there are some good people in the curia but it has become rather dysfunctional in certain respects."

The archbishop said he hoped the Pope would develop "the notion of collegiality," where governance of the Church is shared with the College of Bishops, though he admitted he had no "blueprint" for how this could be done.

Providing comment alongside the archbishop, Cambridge historian Professor Eamon Duffy, in response to a question about the curia, said: "There are a lot of ecclesiastical Sir Humphreys."

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