Some years ago, I was sitting over a beer with a fellow journo who’d covered the Vatican for a long time, discussing a new scandal in which a cardinal who ran a major Vatican department had been accused of making sweetheart deals for Italian politicians to rent apartments in exchange for their votes on funding the rehabbing of his properties under Italy’s “cultural goods” law.
That bit of background is helpful in thinking about a sweeping new law on procurement and contracts decreed by Pope Francis today, because it amounts to a direct frontal assault on two cornerstone aspects of Italian, and, by extension, Vatican business and political culture: Nepotism and feudalism. One can make the case, actually, that nothing Pope Francis has done prior to Monday has greater potential to truly remake the Vatican’s conventional ways and means.
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Pray always for purity and love
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