THE POPE INSTITUTES A COUNCIL OF CARDINALS TO ASSIST IN THE GOVERNANCE OF THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH
Vatican City, 30 September 2013 (VIS) – We publish below the full text of the Chirograph by which the Holy Father institutes a Council of Cardinals to assist His Holiness in the governance of the universal Church and to draw up a project for the revision of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus on the Roman Curia.
“Among the suggestions that emerged from the General Congregations of Cardinals prior to the Conclave, mention was made of the expediency of instituting a limited group of Members of the Episcopate, from various parts of the world, with whom the Holy Father could consult, individually or collectively, on specific matters. Once elected to the See of Rome, I have had the opportunity to reflect on this issue on a number of occasions, and consider that such an initiative would be of significant use in fulfilling the pastoral ministry of Peter’s Successor entrusted to me by my brother cardinals.
“For this reason, on 13 April, I announced the constitution of the aforementioned group, at the same time indicating the names of those who had been called to participate. Now, following reflection, I consider it opportune that such a group, by means of the present Chirograph, be instituted as a ‘Council of Cardinals’, with the task of assisting me in the governance of the universal Church and drawing up a project for the revision of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor bonus on the Roman Curia. It will be composed of the same persons previously nominated, who may be called upon, both in Council and singly, on matters that I will from time to time consider worthy of attention. The aforementioned Council which, with regard to the number of members, I will compose in the most appropriate way, will constitute a further expression of Episcopal communion and of the aid to the munus petrinum that the Episcopate, disseminated throughout the world, may offer”.
The chirograph is dated 28 September 2013, the first year of Pope Francis’ Pontificate
Pope’s G8 advisory group named ‘Council of Cardinals’
His Holiness Pope Francis institutionalized the group of the eight Cardinals he appointed to help him reform the governance of the Church. The group, informally known as the G8, will officially be called the ‘Council of Cardinals.‘ It’s also the first step in the reform of the Roman Curia.
Just hours before the ten members officially start meeting, the Vatican released more information about the structure and how it’ll work. The Council of Cardinals will be a permanent group, but the Pope can modify who’s in it.
FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
“The advisory meetings with the Council of Cardinals can be done as a group or individually. So it’s not necessary to always meet together as a group. The structure is also open regarding the topics brought up for discussion. The statement defines them as: topics that may need to be brought up to attention.”
The group of eight Cardinals arrived at Casa Santa Marta days ago, and have already met twice to exchange their thoughts. The official discussions will begin Tuesday morning at 9:30, inside the Papal Apartment library.
The meetings, held in Italian, will go on until Thursday, with sessions in the mornings and afternoons. But since it’s their first meeting, no decisions are expected.
FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
“The Pope will likely give a brief introduction, and then listen. The Pope will mainly be there to listen to his advisers, who will have many things to bring up, given that there’s a lot of material to talk about.”
The only ten people allowed inside during the meetings are the eight Cardinals, plus Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Albano, who will act as the secretary.
The eight Cardinals are: Sean O’Malley, Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, Francisco Errazuriz Ossa, Reinhard Marx, Giuseppe Bertello, Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Oswald Gracias and George Pell.