- Apr 22, 2021
Pope Francis legendarily has a keen sense of justice and a hard-wired bias in favor of the underdog, but it’s also clear that Francis, like pretty much every reformer pope before him, is still struggling with the institutional translation of those core instincts.
Spanish Jesuit Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves, the pope’s CFO, explained in an interview with the Vatican’s official news outlet that in order to cover costs, the Vatican is being forced to spend down its reserves, and he appealed to Catholic faithful around the world to help out.
Pope Francis’s campaign for financial reform has two targets. The is outright, blatant corruption, and the other is formed by cultural assumptions and patterns of behavior that aren’t generally perceived as criminal or even immoral.
In Francis’s new “Reform 2.0,” which has come into focus over the last four months or so, the assumption is almost exactly the opposite: If you have an Italian problem, then you need your own Italians to fix it.
Despite the general stall related to the coronavirus over the last several months, it’s been drive time in terms of a financial reshuffle in the Vatican.
The stage could be set to have the same set of facts related to a now-infamous London land deal adjudicated by two different courts, one in the Vatican and one in the UK. Such a scenario would invite an interesting compare-and-contrast dynamic at the end.
Change now is inevitable, no matter what sort of resistance the fabled “old guard” may put up, because the Vatican finds itself looking down the barrel of a $158 million gun.