Pope calls for sweeping church reforms

Pope Francis has written a document calling for a more 'merciful' Catholic Church with less centralised power.

    Pope Francis has issued the mission statement for his papacy, outlining how the Catholic Church and the papacy itself must be reformed to create a more merciful church that is more engaged in helping the needy.

    In the 85-page document, issued on Tuesday, Pope Francis pulled together the priorities he has laid out in months of speeches and interviews.

    He explained his most controversial remarks criticising the church's “obsession'' with transmitting a disjointed set of moral doctrines, saying that in the church's “hierarchy of truths,'' mercy is paramount, proportion is necessary, and that what counts is inviting the faithful in.

    Francis cited Vatican II documents calling for a more decentralised church authority, saying power should be devolved away from the Vatican, and said he too must rethink the papacy in order to achieve the goals of spreading the faith.

    Papal overhaul

    Francis is currently overseeing an overhaul of the Vatican's dysfunctional administration, but he said that he was "open to suggestions'' about how to change the very nature of the papacy and its relation to the world's bishops conferences, to make the papacy reflect better what Jesus intended and what the church needs today.

    "Excessive centralisation, rather than proving helpful, complicates the church's life and her missionary outreach,'' he said.

    He went even further, saying some of the church's historical customs can even be cast aside if they no longer serve to communicate the faith.

     “I do not want a church concerned with being at the centre and then ends up by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures.''

    He said their greatest concern must be the poor and marginalised, since they are victims of an unjust, global economic system that prizes profit over people. 

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.