Consistory in May to Examine Petrine Ministry

Central Theme of Meeting Will Focus on Recent Apostolic Letter

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 26, 2001 ( John Paul II will convene an extraordinary consistory May 21-24 of all the Church´s cardinals in order to analyze, among other things, the Petrine ministry and episcopal collegiality.

«The central theme of this sixth plenary meeting of the College of Cardinals is the study of the Church´s prospects for the third millennium, in light of the Holy Father´s recent apostolic letter ´Novo Millennio Ineunte,´» Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said.

The Roman newspaper Il Messaggero said the cardinals will study the Petrine ministry with the Pope, that is, the role and functions of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, as well as episcopal collegiality, namely, the ministry of bishops united among themselves and in communion with the Pontiff.

This is an issue the Pope addresses in Number 44 of «Novo Millennio Ineunte»: «The new century will have to see us more than ever intent on valuing and developing the forums and structures which, in accordance with the Second Vatican Council´s major directives, serve to ensure and safeguard communion. How can we forget in the first place those specific services to communion which are the Petrine ministry and, closely related to it, episcopal collegiality?»

According to Vatican expert Orazio Petrosillo, writing in Il Messaggero, the consistory might also address the state of relations between the Catholic Church and Christian churches in the hope of «re-establishing full communion.»

Moreover, the newspaper said the Pope and cardinals might make a final evaluation of the Jubilee, in which they would discuss, in particular, the question of poor countries´ foreign debt.

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