Vatican Secretary of State: Francis’ Reforms “Irreversible”

Answering the question, “What will happen with the reforms undertaken by Pope Francis?” Cardinal Pietro Parolin insisted on the need for prayer and patience, and said that discernment will indicate, at its own pace, “how to continue and what to make institutional.” Although some people might worry – or hope for – reversals, the Holy See’s Secretary of State said, “Precisely because it is the action of the Spirit, there can be no U-turn.”

Cardinal Parolin was speaking at the presentation of a new book by vaticanista Ignazio Ingrao, entitled Five Questions Agitating the Church. The multifaceted and wide-ranging volume covers a wide variety of news and current events, including a discussion of the Magisterium of Pope Francis and various documents promulgated during his pontificate.

In his introduction, Ingrao speaks of “irreversible processes” that must be matched by a necessary “pastoral response” as well as “an ethical and moral response.”

Echoing that sentiment, Cardinal Parolin highlighted the Latin expression Ecclesia semper reformanda, “the Church is always in need of reform”. He explained this means that “the Church must always be brought back to its proper form”, recalling the teaching of Lumen gentium that the Church, “which includes sinners in its bosom” is “in need of purification, advancing on the path of penance and renewal”.

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