The fifth Council of nine Cardinals, which lasted four days, ended Friday. It was established by the Pope to be aided in the reform of the Roman Curia. The next Councils will take place from September 15-17, December 9-11; and February, 2015.
Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, Holy See spokesman, said that the “subjects addressed, as we said on Tuesday, were the Governorate of Vatican City, the State Secretariat and the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR).” Also taken up was “the subject of the dicasteries and, in particular, the subject of the laity and the family.” The spokesman said that “the role of the laity and couples, men and women, was very interesting and the object of the conversations.”
Father Lombardi stressed that “there is still no decision on the reform of structures,” but there was also discussion today “on other dicasteries, although the talks are still at the first level,” in other words, he added, “there won’t be particular decisions.”
Other topics addressed included “the Nunciatures, their work, and the selection of the Nuncios and Bishops. There is progress in the exchange of opinions,” he said, specifying that “other commissions didn’t take part except for the first day, with the Cardinals vigilance of the IOR.”
“There is notable satisfaction with the atmosphere of work, of great cordiality and serenity.” And he noted that “English-speaking persons described it as “free, frank and friendly.”
“The Pope inserts himself naturally in this dynamic of dialogue, fostering its freedom, although it is a Council that makes proposals on which the Pope must later decide,” said Father Lombardi. One of the Cardinals told him that a few years back a climate of such naturalness and cordiality was unthinkable.” “There is still no talk of drafts of the new Constitutions; they are being studied as if it were the most natural thing in the world,” he added.
Asked by ZENIT about the “urgency” of the reform, as pointed out by a colleague, Father Lombardi rejected this term and said that if the meetings are prolonged too much the Holy Father could put an end to them, although at present it does not seem to be the case.