Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who has become something of the ringleader of the reform group, said he had high hopes that Francis would turn the Holy See into a model of good governance given his background and no nonsense style.
"Sometimes in the past the curia has been an example of what not to do, instead of what to do," Dolan said in an interview after Francis' installation. "We need to look to the Holy See and the Roman Curia as a model of good governance, of honesty, of simplicity, of frugality, of transparency, of candor, of raw Gospel service, of a lack of careerism, of people who are driven by virtue."
Dolan suggested that one crucial area of reform would be imposing term limits on Vatican bureaucrats to prevent them from becoming lifers. He said there was also no reason why more laymen and women couldn't be brought into the Vatican bureaucracy, and that the administration itself could shrink.
Archbishop Claudio Mario Celli, who heads the Vatican's social communications office, wants greater communication within the various Vatican departments, including regularly scheduled meetings of department heads.
"We need a more synergetic activity," Celli said in an interview. "If we want to have a more effective service in the church, we need to have a symphonic approach."
George, the archbishop of Chicago, dismissed speculation that one area of Francis' reforms would involve closing the Vatican bank, the Institute for Works of Religion, which has long been a source of scandal for the Vatican.
Doing so would be financial suicide for the Vatican, since it currently provides the pope with about 50 million euros ($65 million) a year in investment income. The bank invests assets of its account holders, money that would have to be returned if it were to close.
Lombardi has said any speculation about the IOR's possible closure "is purely hypothetical and isn't based on any believable or concrete facts."
Follow Nicole Winfield at www.twitter.com/nwinfield
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