Pope Francis Appoints Vatican Reform Board

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73965571Photo: Spencer Platt/2013 Getty Images

On Saturday morning, Vatican officials announced that Pope Francis had selected eight cardinals from all over the world to study 1988's Apostolic Constitution of Pope John Paul II with an eye toward reforming the Catholic Church. While the group's formation sounds like good news for those who'd hoped that Francis would usher in a period of (relative) change, a spokesman was sure to mention that "its main function is to 'advise' the pope" and that it "has no legislative power." Still, the National Catholic Reporter's John Allen points out that the advisory board's makeup — it only includes one member of the Roman Curia, which is the central governing body of the Church — at least indicates that Francis is open to listening to people outside the establishment responsible for the Vatican's current, less-than-stellar image.