Francis was elected with a mandate to reform the antiquated and inefficient Vatican bureaucracy to make it more responsive to the needs of the 21st-century church and to help, rather than hinder, bishops trying to spread the faith. He has paid special attention to the scandal-marred Vatican bank, long accused by Italian authorities of being an off-shore tax haven for well-connected Italians, and the half-dozen independent Vatican finance offices that do everything from managing the money-making Vatican Museums to administering the Holy See's vast real estate holdings. Francis has called for his church to be particularly attentive to the needs of the poor, and has railed against the injustices of the global capitalist system. On Wednesday, Italian daily Corriere della Sera published the preface Francis wrote for a book by his chief doctrine czar on the mission of the church: "Poor for the Poor."
A welcome change.