THE COUNCIL OF CARDINALS: A NEW CONSTITUION FOR THE CURIA


Pope Benedictus XVI

Pope Benedictus XVI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vatican City, 3 October 2013
(VIS) – The reform of the Curia and the attribution of of more incisive
role to the laity were among the principal themes considered yesterday
afternoon and this morning in the meeting of the Council of Cardinals,
instituted by the Pope to assist him in the governance of the Church,
said the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi
S.J., in a briefing with journalists.

Before commenting on
the issues discussed by the cardinals, Fr. Lombardi referred to the
words of the Pope at the end of the audience with participants in the
meeting held to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of John XXIII’s
encyclical, “Pacem in terris”, in which he recalled the victims,
currently numbered at 90, of the shipwreck this morning near the Italian
island of Lampedusa. “In the light of this new tragedy”, he said, “we
understand more clearly the value and meaning of the first trip of
Francis’ pontificate”.

Moving on to the work of the Council of Cardinals, he
stated that the Pope was present yesterday in the afternoon session,
held between 4 and 7 p.m. “The Holy Father goes to pray at the Chapel at
seven o’clock, and that is the end of their collaboration, although the
the cardinals may join him together, if they see fit. This morning he
was not present as he received in audience the participants in the
meeting organised by the Pontifical Council ‘Justice and Peace’”.

The cardinals worked principally on the reform of the
Curia. “The direction of their work would not indicate an updating of
the apostolic Constitution ‘Pastor Bonus’, with retouches and marginal
modifications”, explained Lombardi, “but rather, a new constitution with
significant new aspects. It will be necessary to wait a reasonable
amount of time following this Council, but the idea is this. The
cardinals have made it clear that they do not intend to make cosmetic
retouches or minor modifications to ‘Pastor bonus’”.

The intention of the cardinals is to emphasise the nature
of the service on the part of the Curia and the universal and local
church “in terms of subsidiarity, rather than the exercise of
centralised power. The intended direction would be to put this into
practice in the service of the Church in all her dimensions”.

Another important theme was the nature and functions of
the Secretariat of State, which “should be the secretariat of the Pope;
the word State should not give rise to doubt. This body serves the Pope
in the governance of the universal Church. The meeting of the Council is
very useful at the moment, in view of the directions the Pope will give
to the new Secretary of State, who will assume his role shortly, on 15
October”.

Again in relation to
the Curia, the Council will address the matter of relations between the
heads of the dicasteries and the Pope, and co-ordination between the
various bodies. “In this context, mention was made of the role of a
‘Moderator Curiae’ (moderator for the Curia), and the functions of such a
figure. The issue was touched upon but no decision has been made as to
whether it will form part of the new constitution; however, it is in
fact one of the hypotheses suggested by the Council”.

With regard to a
possible reorganisation of the administration of temporal goods, the
cardinals touched upon this matter but without exploring the theme in
depth, since they are awaiting the “reports of the referring commissions
on the matter, who will communicate the results of their work [to the
Council]”.

The question of the laity merited “significant attention”
from Council members, as they had received many suggestions and
questions on this subject from their various areas of origin. “When
dealing with the reform of the curia and its institutions, the Council
also plans to give more specific attention to issues relating to the
laity, so that this dimension of the life of the Church is properly and
effectively recognised and followed by the governance of the Church. Now
there is a Pontifical Council for the Laity, but it is still possible
to think of ways of strengthening this aspect”.

This morning, in view of the preparations for the next Synod, debate on the matter was reopened.

Finally, Lombardi
said that yesterday no date had been set for the next meeting of the
Council, although mention was made of a meeting in spring next year, of
an informal nature. “The intention”, he concluded, “is to continue,
without waiting for too long. Also, it would be incorrect to assume that
nothing happens between one meeting and another; the cardinals and the
Pope continue to exchange opinions and messages, even in the absence of a
plenary meeting of the Council”.

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About Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield

Bi-vocational minister who is Founder and Editor of FaithInspires.Org As seen in Google News, SelfGrowth.Com, ChristianHeadlines.com etc.

Posted on October 6, 2013, in Christian News, Church Leadership and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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