Catholic World News

Council of Cardinals continues planning for reorganization of Roman Curia

September 13, 2017

The Council of Cardinals held its 21st meeting at the Vatican this week, as it moves toward completion of a plan for the reorganization of the Roman Curia.

At a briefing on September 13, Greg Burke, the director of the Vatican press office, told reporters that the cardinals had discussed the role of the Congregation for Divine Worship (with a particular focus on the new motu proprio Magnum Principium), the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, and the Congregation for Evangelization.

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, who chairs the council, offered some thoughts on the statements that Pope Francis has made about the organization of the Roman Curia, during his meetings with Vatican officials and at consistories. He emphasized the Pope’s interest in using the Curia as a means of evangelization, on decentralization of Church authority, and on the recruitment of a more diverse and professional staff.

The meetings of the Council took place on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, with morning and afternoon sessions. Ordinarily Pope Francis participates in all the working sessions, except on Wednesday when he holds his weekly audience. This week, however, he was absent from the Monday meetings, as he was returning from his visit to Colombia; he joined the cardinals only for their Tuesday-afternoon session.

Also absent from this week’s meeting were Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, who was unable to make the trip from the Democratic Republic of Congo; and Cardinal George Pell, who is in Australia awaiting an opportunity to respond to criminal charges. Cardinal Pell—who, as head of the Secretariat for the Economy, had regularly briefed the Council on economic reforms—is unlikely to attend future sessions, since his health prevents him from long international flights.

Earlier this week, Bishop Marcelo Semeraro, the secretary to the Council, told Vatican Radio that the group is nearing completion of its main task: the preparation of a full plan for reorganization of the Roman Curia. The bishop said that he expected the group to deliver a plan to Pope Francis “within a few months.”

The Council of Cardinals will meet again in December.

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