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Group of eight cardinals to advise Pope on curial reforms

By on Saturday, 13 April 2013

Cardinal O'Malley of Boston is a member of the nine-man group (CNS)

Cardinal O'Malley of Boston is a member of the nine-man group (CNS)

Pope Francis has established a group of cardinals to advise him on the reform of the Roman Curia and governance of the worldwide Church.

The group consists of eight cardinals from all over the world and one Italian bishop, who will serve as the group’s secretary. Honduran Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga will serve as the body’s co-ordinator.

The Vatican announced the decision this morning as Francis marked the end of his first month as Pope. Yesterday the Pope visited the Vatican Secretariat of State to thank officials for their work.

In a statement issued this morning the Vatican said: “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’s members are Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, Archbishop Emeritus of Santiago de Chile, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa and Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano 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.”

The Religion News Service reported this morning that Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi SJ insisted that the new group would not diminish the role of the Roman Curia but was a “signal of the Pope’s reflection and attention on the issues facing the organisation of the Church”.

  • Myshkin

    There is steel in Pope Francis’s spine. His chosen namesake’s famed difficulties in coming to grasp with the necessity of a formalization of the rule to govern his nascent Franciscan order, in the end, did not stop him from tackling the task. Pope Francis, it would seem, will have no hesitancy in coming to grasp with the nitty-gritty changes needed to put an end to the bureaucratization and careerism that are rumored to have tainted the Curia’s function these last few years. As a simple & happily obscure lay Catholic, I have to admit that I had not personally been aware of these difficulties until the advent of the conclave, and in fact had been so very appreciative of Pope Benedict’s ability to communicate such profound meditations as he regularly delivered, both in his spoken addresses and in his books, several of which I have read. Nonetheless, from my perspective, I believe that already I discern in Pope Francis, too, a very deeply spiritual man, who has much to teach me. Deo Gratias!!

  • Julian Lord

    I feel that Cardinal O’Malley’s presence in this group is very significant.

    He’s VERY papabile IMO …

  • Andrew Young

    Having Pell on board will keep the more traditional wing of the Church happy.

  • Benedict Carter
  • Patrick_Hadley

    Which of the eight was the runner-up in the conclave? It is unlikely that Francis would set up a select group of advisers without including the man who was nearest to being chosen ahead of him.

  • Kevin

    In worldly terms, I think that whatever structure man devises careerism always finds a way.

  • Kevin

    Who in the Church is not traditional?

  • Patrick_Hadley

    I agree. Jabba, have you seen Cardinal Seán’s Blog? There are some lovely photographs on it of his recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Not exactly in the style of Cardinal Dolan.

  • NatOns

    Sadly, all too many – not least those for whom ‘Sacred Tradition’ is either a curse of the worst kind or more likely some merrily forgotten concept .. filled with the clutter of twisted teachings, division-making rites or best abandoned ceremonies/ clericalism/ celibacy, et al.

    “Can the Church Still Be Saved?”

  • NatOns

    Yet the position of these advisers, and the advisory body, is moot. How long some of them can last through intense media scrutiny is, in itself, a question that will have to be faced. Or perhaps this was just a problem for that fiendish Nazi inquisitor whose cunning kept Francis from being the pope eight years ago.

    Not a peaceful, helpful stance for one of the Holy Father’s closed assistants to be placed – in the modern media frenzy, let alone as someone called upon to guide the Pope’s restructuring of how the Holy See functions.

    Dear Lord God help them all (and us moreso with them)!

    And God bless our Pope (for he is no push-over ready to accept any old soft soap treatment at the laundry).

  • NatOns

    A tad cynical, there, K? At least that is better than the dripping irony (a very messy dissimulation indeed) from some responses .. even if they are rather amusing (dear Lord help poor Sean Cardinal O’Malley .. I suspect he really does believe he is being truly ‘Franciscan’ .. at least in the hippy image invented in the late 1960s – and still astonishingly popular, if just as false as the birdy-loving, saccarine version of the 1860s).

    No, I believe Hope to Change (2012/ 2013) and HH Pope Francis mean a rather different form of ‘nitty gritty change’, very much needed in the way the one body with one Spirit sees itself and (more importantly) its God-given mission to the world (yes, it can happen near you and me, with the help of the Holy Ghost when He is allowed to work freely – for these little miracles really do happen .. just watch another one unveil before your eyes):

  • Pope Zicola

    I bet that when Pope Francis was elected, there were some in the Curia who were (ahem!) bricking it.
    Here is someone, elected to wear the Shoes of the Fisherman, who has started to play the fine, unique musical instrument (the Roman Catholic Church) that Pope Benedict XVI has spent his pontificate tuning up to pitch perfect one string at a time.
    Showtime, people!

  • lewispbuckingham

    Well he has certainly become better at handling the ABC.
    Now we in Australia know that Gonski means more educational money at about twice the inflation rate,what always happened before, but with a noticeable reduction for many schools in real terms, he was asked what he thought of it all.
    His answer was in terms of we will see if it is good, it may be, or if it is bad, it may be ,but we will look at the figures when we actually see them.