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Vatican mulling fewer powers for 'PM'

15 April 2013, 15:23

Vatican City - Vatican rule-making will be more consensus-based, a member of the group Pope Francis set up on the weekend to reform Holy See bureaucracy said on Monday.

Francis has named eight cardinals from around the world to serve on a panel that will advise him and look into reforming the Church's scandal-tainted governing body, the Curia.

Bishop Marcello Semeraro, who was appointed the panel's secretary, said that a priority was to change the set-up under which the secretary of state - the Vatican's prime minister - has primacy over all other Curia bodies.

"[We need to] go back in some way to how it was before the secretariat of state had effective oversight powers, when the heads of dicastries had, so to speak, greater autonomy," Semararo said in an interview with Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

The VatiLeaks scandal - last year's highly-embarrassing expose of Vatican cronyism and infighting - is believed by many to have stemmed from internal frustration with the autocratic rule of the current secretary of state, Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

Bertone is expected to be replaced in the coming months, while the advisory panel created by Francis is due to convene in October for the first time. Semeraro said it might meet regularly, "every two or three months".



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