Pope names Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley to advisory board

Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley arrives at St. Peter's Basilica on March 6, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Credit: Franco Origlia/Getty Images
Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley arrives at St. Peter’s Basilica on March 6, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Credit: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley was among the eight cardinals appointed to an advisory board Saturday by Pope Francis, to help the new pontiff govern the Catholic Church and reform its troubled central administration.

The cardinals will help enact changes in an administration which has been held responsible for some of the mishaps and scandals that plagued the eight-year reign of Pope Benedict before he resigned in February.

A Vatican statement said the group would “advise him in the governing of the universal Church” as well as in making administrative changes, a sign that Francis wants to consult more widely than Benedict did before making decisions.

The eight prelates come from Italy, Chile, India, Germany, Democratic Republic of Congo, the United States, Australia, and Honduras, indicating that Francis intends to take seriously calls by bishops from around the world to have more say in Vatican decisions that affect their areas.

An Italian archbishop will act as secretary of the group, which will hold its first formal meeting in October in Rome. Francis, who was elected exactly one month ago, has already been in contact with each of them, the statement said.

The group will also study changes to a constitution by the late Pope John Paul II called “Pastor Bonus”, which gave the Curia, the name by which the various departments that run the Church is known, its current structure in 1988. The last major reform of the Curia was carried out by Pope Paul VI in 1967.

Francis inherited a Church struggling to deal with priests’ sexual abuse of children, the alleged corruption and infighting in the central administration, and conflict over the running of the Vatican’s scandal-ridden bank.

Benedict left a secret report for Francis on the problems in the administration, which came to light when sensitive documents were stolen from the pope’s desk and leaked by his butler in what became know as the “Vatileaks” scandal.

BASIC FAILINGS

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.

The Vatican statement said Francis set up the group to respond to specific suggestions during those meetings.

Cardinals suggested changes to the Curia to made it a model of good governance, including introducing term limits on Vatican bureaucrats to prevent an atmosphere of “careerism” that critics said led to some of the infighting and scandals.

Anger at the mostly Italian prelates who run the Curia was one of the reasons that cardinals chose the first non-European pope for 1,300 years and quashed the chances of one of the front-runners, Milan Archbishop Angelo Scola.

Benedict’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested and sentenced by a Vatican court to 18 months in prison last year but Benedict pardoned him and he was freed just before Christmas.

Benedict’s Secretary of State, Italian Cardinal Tarciscio Bertone, has been widely blamed for the failings of the Curia to govern the 1.2 billion-member Church properly.

Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, the current governor of Vatican City who is now also a member of the new advisory board, has been tipped to succeed Bertone as the Vatican’s number two.

The person Francis chooses to succeed Bertone – who is still in his post – will be among his most important decisions because he will be instrumental in helping the new pope set the tone for a humbler Church following a period of scandals.

Besides Bertello and O’Malley, the other cardinals on the advisory board are Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa of Santiago, Chile, Oswald Gracias of Bombay, Reinhard Marx of Munich, Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, George Pell of Sydney, and Oscar Andres Rodriquez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Italy, will serve as secretary.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBos



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor reveals new tech hub Digital.NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Digital.NYC on Wednesday, a new online platform aimed at connecting all things tech in New York City. The public-private partnership…

Local

Falling debris hits two men in Times Square

Two men were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after being hit by falling debris from 110 feet above Times Square. Nancy Greco from the…

Local

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough accused of misusing campaign…

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough has been indicted on state and federal charges for allegedly withdrawing campaign funds as cash for personal use. Scarborough, a Democrat…

News

U.S. Secret Service director Pierson resigns under fire

U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned under fire on Wednesday after a series of security lapses came to light.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Oct. 1: 'Criminal Minds,'…

The "Criminal Minds" team adds some supernatural assistance, as the "Ghost Whisperer" herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt, joins the show. She's playing an FBI agent, but you never know when someone…

Music

See the most popular Pandora station in your…

Who knew Bachata music was so popular?

The Word

The Word: Twilight just won't die

You thought our "Twilight" days were behind us, didn't you? Well think again. Series creator Stephenie Meyer (who would rather you not ask about "Twilight"…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

NFL

Rex Ryan fields more questions about Geno Smith,…

The idea Geno Smith will be replaced by backup Michael Vick appears to be all smoke, as the Jets are intent to ride with their second-round draft pick.

NFL

Will Beatty playing like franchise left tackle again…

Left tackle Will Beatty, who is the elder-statesman of Giants’ line, has turned around his season and become a consistent force on Manning’s blindside.

NFL

John Conner back with Jets for second stint

He'll be back. It's "Terminator 2" for the Jets, who brought back John Conner to the team on Tuesday after placing fullback Tommy Bohanon on…

NFL

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry…

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry Donnell will stay solid

Career

Creating a support system for minority women in…

When Kathryn Finney founded digitalundivided — an organization devoted to engaging minority communities with the tech world — she didn’t know quite what to expect.…

Sex

We can learn a lot from animals about…

There’s a lot we can learn about love from the birds and the bees — and the chickens, monkeys and squirrels that we share the…

Style

Saint Laurent

Our review of the Saint Laurent Spring '15 show at Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Céline: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Celine Spring '15 show during Paris Fashion Week.