Pope Francis Shakes up Cardinals with Further Vatican Reform
File photo of Pope Francis.
The pontiff announced the head of the powerful College of Cardinals would now be limited to two five-year terms — a change from current rules that allow the dean to remain in post as long as he chooses.
Vatican City: Pope Francis on Saturday imposed mandatory term limits on one of his most powerful aides, the head of the powerful College of Cardinals, as he continues his wide-ranging institutional reform of the Vatican.
The pontiff announced that the college's dean would now be limited to two five-year terms — a change from current rules that allow the dean to remain in post as long as he chooses.
Francis made the change shortly after accepting the resignation of Cardinal Angelo Sodano, a 92-year-old conservative who has wielded huge power since taking over in 2005.
The pope has consistently sought to reshape the roles of senior Vatican officials and introduce oversight into adminsitrative processes — the latest move coming last week when he abolished secrecy rules in sexual abuse cases.
He has previously chastised cardinals for being clicquish, gossipy and arrogant, and tried to shape the college to include more non-Italian members by appointing new cardinals from other continents and elsewhere in Europe.
The main role of the college — made up of hundreds of clergymen from around the world — is to elect a new pope.
Francis specified that the new five-year term could be renewed once, and said his action was in response to "the increase in the number of cardinals".