10 Years of Pope Francis: A Decade of Reforms, Evangelization and Popularity

Tags: Currents Pope Francis, World News

Evangelization has been and continues to be one of the main priorities of the first Pope from Latin America. He made this clear during his first international trip to World Youth Day in 2013.

“But I want to make some noise in the dioceses,” Pope Francis said. “I want Christians to go outside their dioceses.” 

Apart from his changes in Vatican government, Pope Francis is a Pope who has been close to the people, especially the sick and the marginalized.

Ten years is a long pontificate. From the beginning, Pope Francis said his plan of governing was to implement what the cardinals proposed during the meetings held before the 2013 conclave.

He wanted to focus on fighting economic corruption in the Vatican, combating abuse, and giving more power to the dioceses rather than the Curia.

To fight economic corruption, Pope Francis created new structures like the Secretariat for the Economy. 

The goal was to standardize all financial statements of the Vatican organizations to eliminate the poor control of the accounts.

“We’re dealing with a wider structure, which affects all the other administrative structures within the Holy See.”  Father. Federico Lombardi said in 2014. “Here, we’re talking about all the institutions that have a financial or administrative aspect. So, from now on, they will be under the guidance of this new body, which has a wider scope.”

The Pope was continuing the reforms that had started under Pope Benedict XVI. The new control structures were created to identify wastefulness practices and possible corruption, like the real estate operation in London.

To combat abuse, Pope Francis gathered all the world’s bishops’ conferences at the Vatican to educate them about the gravity of the situation. Over the next years, the Pope created guidelines for dioceses to address abuse and updated the penal book of the Code of Canon Law.

“The issue now is that we want to make these changes operational, determining what the offense is and the duty of each person to act,” Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Secretary, Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts said. 

Regarding the reform of the Curia, the Pope established a consultative council of cardinals. After 9 years of planning, the result was the new apostolic constitution, Praedicate Evangelium. In August 2022, Pope Francis brought all the cardinals together to update them on the new document. It instituted new offices focused on evangelization and the care of the diocese.

“It’s whole dimension is a missionary dimension and the emphasis is that all the baptized people are missionaries,” Cardinal Patrick D’rozario Archbishop Emeritus of Dhaka, Bangladesh, said.

“The Roman Curia is also for the mission of the Church—it’s a mission to the Holy Father as well as a mission to the particular churches that are found all over the world.”

In fact, the Pope gained popularity during the first years of his pontificate. He landed on the covers of magazines like Rolling Stone and Time, who chose him as Person of the Year in 2013. In 2015, the global public opinion analysis company Gallup, placed him among the most valued leaders in the world, ahead of Barack Obama and Angela Merkel.