The conclusion of the Chilean summit clarified three characteristics of the Holy Father’s pastoral style.
First, Pope Francis is quite ready to fire people at the most senior levels. He has fired three curial prefects, something which simply wasn’t done previously. Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Cardinal Raymond Burke and Cardinal Gerhard Müller were all dismissed when judged to be obstacles to the Holy Father’s agenda. The Vatican’s auditor general, a key figure in the financial reform program appointed by Pope Francis himself, was fired last summer. A few months before that, the Holy Father even fired someone who was thought to be beyond the Pope’s power to dismiss, the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta.
Pope Francis has shifted away from the more traditional ecclesiastical style to a more business style of management. The traditional ecclesial style, especially in Rome, was to wait for people to retire or to move them to a face-saving post.