“Francis stands for a revolution”

Curia Bishop Josef Clemens © Romano Siciliani (KNA)

Pope Francis, according to German Curia Bishop Josef Clemens, has sparked "a true revolution" in the Vatican that cannot be reversed.

There has not been anything comparable "for centuries at the Curia," the Austrian press agency Kathpress (Friday) quotes Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s longtime private secretary as saying. Clemens commented on the Reformation Year 2017 during the visit of an ecumenical delegation from Carinthia.

The pope is especially counting on independent initiatives by the laity, said Clemens, who until September 2016 served on the Pontifical Councils for the Laity and the Family; these were then transferred to an Office for Laity, Family and Life. In the work of the Catholic laity, the pope strongly relies on impulses from the laity themselves and on "accompaniment through the office instead of the office as a motor," said the bishop of the curia.

Pope as pacesetter

The pope is also a pacesetter in many other areas, above all in ecumenism: While "most others" would "rather run behind" Francis here, he is leading by his own example, said Clemens.

Clemens is convinced that what the pope has set forth and exemplified "with great clarity and directness" can no longer be undone by any successor, "at best in a few external aspects". The bishop expressed concern, however, that many people did not understand Francis, even if they were sympathetic to him. He observes with these people an "inner barrier to accept the actual concern of the pope".

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