What a state!
Once Pope Francis settles into the job, I hope he will come to the conclusion I came to many years ago when I was in and out of the Vatican – namely that the pious fiction that the Vatican is a country is one of the heaviest weights dragging the Roman Catholic Church down.
If Francis has the courage to say that the Vatican is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and nothing more, many great benefits would flow to the Church. For one thing, they could get rid of all the Papal Nuciatures scattered throughout the world. This would not only result in hundreds of valuable properties being able to be sold, and the money used for the spreading of the Gospel. It would also remove a whole class of papal diplomats. The Nuncios are Archbishops in nothing but name and are usually regarded as curial spies by the bishops of the countries they are in. They and their staffs could be far better employed in pastoral work throughout the Church.
The new Pope will almost certainly move quickly to give real powers to the Conference of Bishops in each country, thus genuinely implementing the decrees of Vatican II. And what better way to do that than to cast off the modern idea that the Pope is a secular monarch (or any kind of monarch at all) and tear up the Concordat that a previous Pope made with Mussolini’s fascist regime.
You heard it here first!