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Honduran cardinal foresees married couple heading Pontifical Council for Families

Catholic World News - February 17, 2014

The chairman of the Council of Cardinals has suggested that a married couple should head a renewed Pontifical Council for Families.

In an interview with the French daily La Croix, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga said that a restructuring of the Roman Curia should include the creation of a Congregation for the Laity. “We have a Congregation for Bishops, for Religious life, for the Clergy, and only a Pontifical Council for the Laity, who form the majority of the Church,” the Honduran cardinal said. “We can’t continue that way.”

Asked whether a lay person could head this new congregation, Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga replied: “I don’t know. But within that Congregation for the Laity, I see no obstacle to having a Pontifical Council for Families, directed by a married couple. Why not? It would be a magnificent sign.”

The cardinal said that the Council of Cardinals, created by Pope Francis last year to advise him on Vatican reforms, had begun its deliberations with a discussion of the Synod of Bishops, then moved on to the Secretariat of State, then the other offices of the Roman Curia—first the 9 congregations, then the various pontificial councils and other offices. This week, he said, the Council of Cardinals is examining the Vatican’s financial institutions.

When asked whether the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works, might be abolished, the Honduran cardinal said that the answer would depend on the reports submitted to the Pope and his advisers this week. He did seem to lean toward a reform, rather than suppression, of the institution, however, saying that “it’s easier to heal the sick than to raise the dead.”

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