On March 13, 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope and took the name Francis. Ten years later, the anniversary of this election was celebrated in a particularly discreet way. The Pope celebrated a private mass with the cardinals present in Rome, in the chapel of St. Martha’s House, which is his residence.
The assessment of the Vaticanists can be summed up in interrogatories or ten essential questions. Here is the seventh:
7. Is the Church moving towards a centralized administration and a decentralized doctrine?
A rigid government (centralized) and a liquid magisterium (decentralized), such seems to be the present situation in Rome. This is what Stefano Fontana points out on the website The New Daily Compass [La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana] of March 2:
“On February 20 last, with the motu proprio Native Law [Diritto native] Francis established that the properties of entities and institutions pertaining to the Holy See are not to be understood as their private property, and managed as such, but as the property of the Holy See.”
“In the last few days, moreover, a new Rescript of the pope, which he confirmed on 13 February at an audience granted to the Secretary for the Economy, Caballero Ledo, has been made public, in which it is established that Vatican apartments will be granted to the cardinals by the owners on payment of rent on market terms, i.e. at ‘the same prices applicable to those who do not have offices in the Holy See,’ and any exceptions will have to be decided by the pope himself.”
“These measures are added to two others that, albeit from different spheres, seem to confirm the Pope's current 'centralising' tendency: the reduction of the bishops' competence in authorising Mass in the ancient rite and the new organisational configuration of the diocese of Rome.”
The journalist then remarks: “What is surprising is the contrast of these provisions with what is happening in the doctrinal sphere of faith and morals, where the synodal process seems instead to take competences away from the centre [Rome] to grant them to the periphery, to the point of calling into question the very nature of the Church and its hierarchy of roles.”
And he notes, logically: “there are plans today to delegate competences proper to the universal Church and the Supreme Pontiff to continental, national, or diocesan synods, to confer doctrinal definition tasks to episcopal conferences, and in the future to connect to the bishop a permanent synod composed of priests and lay people with decision-making tasks. With the principle of subsidiarity, one would like to change the structure of the Church from 'monarchical' to 'democratic.’”