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Curial voice at next conclave shrinks

At Crux, John Allen considered the diminished curial influence in the election of a new pope after Francis’s creation of 17 new cardinals.

During his papacy, only 13 per cent of Pope Francis’s cardinal picks have been Vatican officials. Traditionally, at least a quarter of cardinals are based in the


Although the shift in power means that the leadership is more representative of the Church as a whole, Allen suggests that “Vatican officials often represent the institutional memory of the Church and provide a firebreak against the Church being swept away by the shifting tides of a given era’s fashions”.

However, John Thavis, writing on his blog, said that while the curial bloc was declining, it still “remained strong”. He pointed out that 34 per cent of cardinal-electors were either Vatican officials or had had posts at the Vatican before.

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