Pope Francis is asking Rome priests and lay Catholics to recommend candidates and qualities for the city’s next vicar.
During a closed-door meeting Friday with Rome priests, Francis asked
that suggestions be sent to the diocese by April 12, the newspaper of
Italy’s bishops’ conference reported.
Usually such consultations are restricted to a small cadre of
high-ranking churchmen, with the Pope making the final decision.
Pope Francis has made a practice of polling ordinary Catholics, most
significantly in the run-up to his 2014-2015 meetings on family issues.
The current Vicar of Rome, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, is two years
beyond retirement age.
The vicar acts as the de-facto bishop of Rome
given the Pope’s other duties.