Pope appoints group of cardinals
as advisers on Church government and Curia reformThe group of eight cardinals and one Bishop from every
continent includes Mgr Oswald Gracias from Mumbai (India). Already in contact
with the pope, the group is set to meet in early October. The papal statement
makes a passing reference to discussions that took place in the general
congregations, as a result (perhaps) of the Vatileaks scandal. The group's aim
is to enhance the collegiality of the government of the Church and its
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - In order to study a
"plan for revising" the Roman Curia and receive advice on "the government of the
Pope Francis has appointed a group of cardinals
from six continents, among them an Asian, Card Oswald Gracias of Mumbai
The cardinals are tasked with elaborating a draft
plan to revise the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, as well as the structure
and duties of the Roman Curia, as established by John Paul II in 1988. According
to the constitution, the Curia helps the pope in his universal Petrine ministry.
At the same time, it serves to express effectively the communion of the Pope and
all the bishops in addressing the challenges of the mission of the Church. In
the final stage of Benedict XVI's pontificate, world media reported various
situations and "scandals" that brought to light divisions within the Curia, as
well as errors in managing sensitive files, and leaks (Vatileaks). Because of
this, Benedict XVI asked three cardinals to write a report based on the results
of the investigation.
This report has remained secret and is now in the
hands of the new pontiff. As the pope emeritus indicated, the three cardinals
(Julián Herranz, Josef Tomko and Salvatore De Giorgi) were able to communicate
some of their findings and conclusions to the general congregations held before
In fact, the press release of the Secretariat of
State, announcing the establishment of the group, cited "a suggestion that
emerged during the General Congregations preceding the Conclave."
It is important to note that the group of
cardinals is international in nature and that it is tasked to advise the pope
"in the government of the universal Church".
Such a group appears more conducive to meeting the
needs of collegiality at the helm of the Church. It will likely be able to guide
the Roman Curia to serve the pope and the bishops, rather than act as a
privileged interlocutor of the pope.
Here is the full text of the press release issued
today by the Secretariat of State.
The Holy Father Francis, taking up a suggestion
that emerged during the General Congregations preceding the Conclave, has
established a group of cardinals to advise him in the government of the
universal Church and to study a plan for revising the Apostolic Constitution on
the Roman Curia, 'Pastor Bonus'. The group consists of: Cardinal Giuseppe
Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State; Cardinal Francisco
Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop emeritus of Santiago de Chile, Chile; Cardinal
Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, India; Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop
of Munich and Freising, Germany; Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop
of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley O.F.M.
Cap., archbishop of Boston, USA; Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney,
Australia; Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, S.D.B., archbishop of
Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in the role of coordinator; and Bishop Marcello Semeraro
of Albano, Italy, in the role of secretary. The group's first meeting has been
scheduled for 1-3 October 2013. His Holiness is, however, currently in contact
with the aforementioned cardinals.