OT, but Steve Sailer has five — five! — penetrating new articles up on his blog today:
Tell me, how can this guy not be considered the best journalist in America? He’s the George Orwell of our time.
Correction. Sailer has seven new pieces up. And I thought WRM was prolific.
Vatican finances is a small issue. Yes, it is nice for the Pope to clean up these embarrassing problems. But there is an illusion that the Catholic Church is some vast international corporation with a centralized administrative apparatus. The Vatican is really a very small operation with a limited and important role in a billion person Church. The main point of leverage for the Pope is the appointment of bishops for the dioceses.
You write, “The main point of leverage for the Pope is the appointment of bishops for the dioceses.”
Yes, but the selection of bishops is largely done by one of the Congregations, which has a new head, appointed by Francis. And the new Secretariat has some sort of power over “personnel” matters, which suggests that it may have a grip on who gets appointed to the Congregation…
Well, yes, the people Pope Francis appoints to help him find men to appoint as bishops are themselves very important appointments.
The version that appeared in the Boston Globe (http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/world/2014/02/24/pope-makes-first-overhaul-vatican-years/tHvlNCAGK0CZAT8y2ZE4HI/story.html) said “an economics secretariat to control all economic, administrative, personnel and procurement functions of the Holy See”.
As I see it, Francis is creating a new committee — to be filled with *his* people — that has control over *all* the money and an unspecified (but probably large) control over who gets new appointments. This is seizure of power on a grand scale!
“Seizure of power”? Come on, the Pope has controlled appointments of diocesan bishops for a long, long time. He relies on the recommendations of his staff organizations, naturally, since there are thousands of bishops and hundreds of appointments every year. Now the administrative side of the Vatican has not been well managed for quite some time. They probably pay way more for #2 pencils than they should and I doubt that these old buildings are as well insulated as they should be. I imagine Pope Francis wants the administrative stuff handled effectively so that he can concentrate on his real job without dealing with embarrassing scandalettes.