At the beginning of today’s Consistory, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals, addressed the greeting to Pope Francis, which we translate below.
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Holy Father, I believe I can interpret the sentiments of my fellow Cardinals, addressing to you the most cordial greeting at the beginning of this Consistory. In you we venerate the Successor of Peter, placed by the Holy Spirit to lead the Church of Christ in this important hour of her history. We wish to give you all our collaboration. It is a collaboration of individual Cardinals, but also a collegial collaboration, in the furrow traced by the history of the Church and well synthesized in the Code of Canon Law, which in Canon 349 tells us: “The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church constitute a distinct College … They assist the Roman Pontiff be it collegially, when they are convoked to address jointly the questions of greatest importance, be it personally, through the different offices they carry out, helping the Pope in the daily governance of the universal Church.” Some of us already carry out this work in the Roman Curia, happy to be able to do this mission beside you, in this beloved Church of Rome.
The greater part of my fellow Cardinals come from various parts of the world, and with their pastoral experience and their apostolic commitment they are happy to offer the Successor of Peter the comfort of their presence and the help of their collaboration.
Some Cardinals were unable to be present among us because of their advanced age or poor health. We should have been 228, but we were unable to reach this number. How can we not remember at this moment the late Cardinal Karl Josef Becker of the Society of Jesus who, in fact, the day before yesterday, here in Rome, was called by the Lord to Eternal Life?
Holy Father, gathered around you today we will hear the various proposals for the adaptation of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor bonus to the needs of the present hour. In the last century Saint Pius X gave us in 1908 the Apostolic constitution Sapienti consilio. In 1967 Blessed Paul VI reorganized the Roman Curia with the Apostolic Constitution Pastor bonus. Now, in face of the new challenges of the third Christian millennium, you have called us to collaborate with you for the improved activity of this apostolic cenacle.
We are here to give you our contribution, keeping very present, be it the experience of the past be it the expectations of the present, seeking to do, as the man in the Gospel who was able to bring from his treasure nova et vetera, new things and old things (Matthew 13:52). Let us work fraternally together, for the purpose that it all be for the greater glory of God, ad majorem Dei gloriam.[Translation by ZENIT]