This is a state of warriorhood vital for the Catholic Church to embrace within the leadership if it is ever to resonate within the universal Church and the recent appointment by Pope Francis of Cardinal George Pell to help clean up the Roman Curia, as George Weigel writes, is a great example of it.

An excerpt.

Shortly after George Pell was named Archbishop of Melbourne, he instituted several reforms at the archdiocesan seminary, including daily Mass and the daily celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, both of which had fallen by the wayside in the preceding years. The seminary faculty, enthusiastic proponents of Catholic Lite, thought to call the archbishop’s bluff and informed him that, were he to persist in such draconian measures, they would resign en masse.

The archbishop thanked them for the courtesy of giving him a heads-up, accepted their resignations on the spot, and got on with the reform of the Melbourne seminary—and of the rest of the archdiocese.

The defenders of the status quo in the Vatican may have been unaware of this episode when they recently tried to take down the man chosen by Pope Francis to clean up the financial mess the Argentinian pope inherited two years ago. Like their predecessors in Melbourne, the leaders of a nasty campaign of personal accusation against Cardinal Pell, conducted by leaks to the ever-sleazy Italian media, failed. I hope that failure will be a lesson to such scoundrels in the future: don’t mess with a former Australian rules football star who likes contact sports. That may be hope-against-hope. But we are obliged to believe that conversion, even among curialists native to the boot-shaped peninsula, is not beyond the power of God’s grace.

Pope Francis was elected by a conclave determined that the next pontificate should clean up what Msgr. Ronald Knox used to call the “engine room” of the Barque of Peter. In the ensuing two years, there’s not been a whole lot of progress in curial reform. The striking exception to that rule is the result of the pope’s most successful reformist appointment: that of George Pell as head of a new super-dicastery in the Roman Curia, the Secretariat for the Economy, with a mandate to make the Vatican “boringly successful” as a “model of good financial practices,” as Cardinal Pell likes to tell reporters.

Retrieved March 26, 2015 from