Tag Archives: Council of Cardinals

Council of Cardinals expands, other changes in the curia coming

C8Meeting for the 5th time this week in Rome, the Council of Cardinals is working on matters of Church’s governance. On many minds is the forthcoming (in 2015) new apostolic constitution replacing the current constitution, Pastor Bonus, of John Paul II. On some level the work of the Council has been seen as a mere reshuffling of Vatican offices and improving apostolic effectiveness. Or, so we are led to believe. It may sound cynical, but look at the historical reality of the Roman curia and you’ll notice some discouraging facts. You can rearrange the deck chairs but if the deeper matters are not addressed, e.g., personal conversion, true discipleship, protection of the marginalized (children, elderly, ill) then whatever materializes is meaningless. Christ asks for more than mediocre plotting and planning; the Church requires more in order to proclaim the Good News of Salvation in Christ Jesus.

As you know, the Council of Cardinals  has been known as the C8 but is now to referred to as the “C9” because of the Secretary of State Pietro Cardinal Parolin has become a key interlocutor. Jesuit Father Lombardi stated: “While before it was referred to as the C8 plus one, I can now confirm it has now become the C9 because the Secretary of State Pietro Cardinal Parolin is “systematically taking part” in the discussions held by the Council of Cardinals and is a full member.

The addition of Cardinal Parolin to the Council will be made official when the pope issues his decision in a document. Regrettable, in my opinion, is the fact that heretofore NO member of Eastern Christianity is represented on the Council. The Catholic Church is a communion of churches and the Eastern Churches are constituent. One would think with the friendship Pope Francis shares with members of the Eastern Churches there would be a Patriarch on the Council. We ought to have a C10!

It comes to mind that that there ought to be an equivalent council to the C9 made of laity. There are analogues for this idea in Eastern Christianity. Ecclesial life, not debate on dogma and liturgical praxis, needs the Pope’s consultation with laity. While the Pontifical Council for the Laity does real good work, something broader is needed.

An announcement on changes in the Pope’s curia will be made next Wednesday that will affect, in particular,  the Secretariat for the Economy and Institute of Works of Religion (IOR), AKA the Vatican Bank.

The C9 will meet 15 to 17 September, 9 to 11 December and 9 to 11 February.

Pope establishes commission for protection of minors, pastoral care of victims

Many in the world are watching the Church and how she is addressing the needs of a contemporary Church. The concerns of the College of Cardinals at the last papal election reflected the concerns of the faithful. With a good sense there a new things happening. One such innovation is Francis creating the Council of Cardinals to advise him on the administration of the Church. This work is being shared. Another innovation was announced today: a special commission will be set up to have oversight on matters pertaining to the protection of children and the pastoral care the victims. Clearly, this move of the Pope is a continuation of the good work of Pope Benedict regarding the sin and crime of sexual abuse. I pray that the commission will act decisively and with mercy and justice. 

Speaking for the Council of Cardinals, Sean Cardinal O’Malley gave this to the press at the Holy See:

At the briefing on Thursday morning, 5 December, at 1 p.m., alongside the Director of the Holy See Press Office, there participated Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, member of the Council of Cardinals, who gave the following Declaration:

“Continuing decisively along the lines undertaken by Pope Benedict XVI, and accepting a proposal presented by the Council of Cardinals, the Holy Father has decided to establish a specific Commission for the protection of minors, with the aim of advising Pope Francis on the Holy See’s commitment to the protection of children and in pastoral care for victims of abuse. Specifically, the Commission will:

1. study present programmes in place for the protection of children.

2. formulate suggestions for new initiatives on the part of the Curia, in collaboration with bishops, Episcopal conferences, religious superiors and conferences of religious superiors.

3. indicate the names of persons suited to the systematic implementation of these new initiatives, including lay persons, religious and priests with responsibilities for the safety of children, in relations with the victims, in mental health, in the application of the law, etc.

The composition and competences of the Commission will be indicated shortly, with more details from the Holy Father in an appropriate document.”

Cardinal O’Malley then quoted some of the lines of action proposed by the Commission under constitution.

* * *

The meetings will conclude tomorrow afternoon [Friday], completing the review of the different Congregations of the Roman Curia initiated during these recent days.

The next round of meetings is scheduled for the 17, 18 and 19 February, preceding the Consistory of the College of Cardinals due to take place on the 20 and 21 of the same month, and the Consistory for the Creation of new cardinals on 22 February, Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, and the solemn Concelebration of Sunday 23.
In addition, the meeting of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops is scheduled to take place in the days immediately after (24-25 February).

Pope meets the Council of Cardinals, again

C 8The Pope and the Council of Cardinals begin their second meeting today, and running until Thursday. His Holiness established the agenda to study the need for substantial reform of the Roman Curia, to consider other proposals for change, and to advise the Pope on general matters of Church governance. Several changes have been already announced. Various Congregations will be visiting with the Council.

The next scheduled meeting of the Council will happen on 17-18 February, the eve of the Pope’s first consistory for the creation of new cardinals, set for 22 February. The Consistory will give the Pope the opportunity to meet with the College of Cardinals since his last meeting with him following his election to the See of Peter.

Council of Cardinals to meet again

The Council of Cardinals have finished their official meetings for this round (1-3 October). They have been meeting since their April appointments through other means before now, and they’ll continue to contact each other as they work through the next set of agenda items.

The Council is due to meet 3-5 December and then in February 2014.

Come Holy Spirit. Come through Mary.

Pope and Council of Cardinals work on substantial Curial change

Word from the Holy See regarding the meeting this week of Pope Francis and the Council of Cardinals is that substantial change is expected in the Roman Curia. The change at hand is not going to be a mere redaction of Pastor bonus, the 1988 ecclesiastical constitution promulgated by Blessed John Paul II.

The accent is going to be subsidiarity providing room for greater collaboration between and among bishops and national Conferences of Bishops.

Nothing has been firmly decided and it will be the Pope who who will take these days of consultation to prayer and make decisions. It is speculated that significant revisions will happen in the current Secretary of State –perhaps being reformed to be an office of Secretary of the Pope. Also, there could be a Moderator of the Curia, and the revision of various Departments.

The Council meets twice a day with the Pope.

The Council of Cardinals, sometimes called the C8 is made up of the following churchmen:

  • Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras (coordinator of the Council), 70;
  • Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Italy, (Council’s secretary), 65;
  • Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, the president of the Vatican city-state governorate, 71;
  • Cardinal Francisco Errázuriz Ossa, the retired Archbishop of Santiago, Chile, 80;
  • Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay, India, 68;
  • Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, Germany, 60;
  • Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, USA, 69;
  • Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Dem. Congo, 74;
  • Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia, 72.

Missing from the Council at the moment is a bishop/Cardinal from one of the the Eastern Catholic Churches.

Here’s a CNS report.

The Press Office directed by Jesuit Father Frederico Lombardi has this to say about parts of the meeting that are of interest. A previous review is here.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT, follows the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, and is an Oblate of Saint Benedict, works as a monastery farmer and a keeper of honey bees. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
coat of arms