Pope Francis began meetings on Tuesday to discuss the reformation of the Vatican and promising to do everything he can to change the mentality of the administration, known as the Curia.
Francis and his advisory board will examine about 80 different documents on Vatican reform from bishops all over the world. They plan to rewrite a 1998 constitution that mandates the Vatican’s various departments.
The Pope gave an interview to La Repubblica newspaper last week saying he almost turned down his election as the first non-European Pope in 1,3000 years, claiming too many previous Popes were “narcissists” who allowed themselves to be flattered by “courtier” aides in the Curia instead of focusing on the mission of the universal Church. He said the main problem with the Curia is that it is too selfish, too inward-looking.
"The (papal) court is the leprosy of the papacy," said Francis, who refused the grand, spacious papal apartment and took small quarters in a guesthouse when he was elected.
"It looks after the interests of the Vatican, which are still, in large part temporal interests. This Vatican-centric vision neglects the world around it and I will do everything to change it," he explained.
The Curia has been privy to scandals in the past, and Francis announced he would be instating an advisory board of cardinals a month after his election. The eight cardinals Francis chose, he says, are not motivated by selfishness.
"They are not courtiers, but wise people who are inspired by my same feelings. This is the start of a Church with an organization that is not only vertical but also horizontal," he said.
Francis is considering advice from cardinals the world over, including those in India, Chile, the U.S.. and the Democratic Republic of Congo.