At least 30 priests employed in Vatican departments may be removed from their posts and sent to dioceses in the following months, according to three different Vatican sources.
“The Congregation for Clergy will be the first of the list,” a Vatican source familiar with the congregation told CNA Nov. 14.
Four priests employed in the congregation have been called to serve in dioceses. Among them is Monsignor Luciano Alimandi, who had been for years private secretary to the department’s former head Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos.
According to the source, Msgr. Alimandi and the other three were “all part of the Cardinal Mauro Piacenza’s inner circle.” He was prefect of the Congregation for Clergy until last September.
Cardinal Piacenza was appointed to lead the Vatican’s Apostolic Pentientiary tribunal on Sept. 21. Archbishop Beniamino Stella replaced him as prefect for the Congregation of the Clergy.
A second source who had been recently in touch with Archbishop Stella explained to CNA Nov. 10 that “many changes are awaited in the Congregation.”
The source also maintained that “Pope Francis seemingly wants to have less employees in the Vatican departments, and aims to send the most priests he can to serve in parishes and dioceses.”
Pope Francis’ reform, the source assured, “would give more power to the local bishops. In the past, when there was a difficult case to handle, an official of the Congregation was sent for an on-site visit to report on it. In the future, local bishops could be entrusted with these reports, thus taking part of the work of the Vatican dicasteries.”
According to another source who spoke to CNA Nov. 14 and asked for anonymity, “the changes would involve all the Vatican departments.”
The source underscored that “when appointed as member of the Council of Eight Cardinals, Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello made several visits to Vatican Congregations, asking each of them a list of people the Congregation could do without.”
According to the source, the list will include about 30 people, all priests. The source added that “part of the priests had been requested back by their home dioceses.”
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