Associated Press

Vatican defends hasty rollout of revolutionary laity reform

Vatican officials on Monday defended the last-minute rollout of Pope Francis’ reform of the Holy See bureaucracy while also painting it as one of the most consequential moves of his pontificate since it recognizes that any believer, male or female, can head a Vatican office. The new apostolic constitution “Praedicate Evanglium,” or “Proclaiming the Gospel,” was released Saturday after nine years of work with no advance warning and only in Italian. It replaces the previous 1988 founding blueprint of the Holy See which, among other things, made clear that only ordained priests, bishops and cardinals can head Vatican offices because they alone enjoyed the “power of governance” in the Catholic Church.