“[M]y hope is that the Vatican’s relationship with the local churches can be a sort of creative tension. I think life without tension would be very boring and useless. We can’t walk, we can’t talk, we can’t sing without tension. You need to have tension in your vocal chords and your back, let alone a guitar. However, tension can be destructive. The challenge is to recognise the diversity of gifts and the plurality of churches and the one spirit that unites us. And I think that is the adventure of a lifetime….
On the one hand, [the Roman Curia] is the oldest bureaucracy in the world. People love to say that. On the other hand, that bureaucracy, as one of our historians pointed out to me when I was ranting about the Curia: ‘Don’t forget, it guided the Church through a couple of world wars and great depressions and times when the Pope had died or was kidnapped by Napoleon.’ In that sense it has provided a service, but I think it has to be humble and make sure it is service and not simply bureaucracy.”