Pope's Address to Consistory of the College of Cardinals

«The reform is not an end in itself, but a means to give strong Christian witness»

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The Consistory, which gathers the College of Cardinals with Pope Francis, began at 9 o’clock this morning in the Synod Hall in the Vatican. The works of the Consistory — in which the Cardinals that will be created in the ordinary Public Consistory this Saturday are also taking part –, are taking place today and tomorrow, with sessions from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

After the recitation of Terce this morning and the greeting of the Cardinal Dean, Angelo Sodano, the Pope gave the Cardinals the address we translate below.

* * * 

Dear Brothers,

“Behold, how good and how sweet when brothers live together!” (Psalm 133:1).

With the words of the Psalm we render praise to the Lord, who has convoked us and gives us the grace to receive the 20 new Cardinals in this assembly. To them and to all I give my cordial greeting. Welcome in this communion, which is expressed in collegiality.

Thank you to all those who prepared this event, in particular, His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals. I thank the Commission of Nine Cardinals and His Eminence Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, the coordinator. I also thank His Excellency Marcello Semeraro, Secretary of the Commission of Nine Cardinals: it is he who presents to us today the summary of the work carried out in these last months to elaborate the new Apostolic Constitution for the Reform of the Curia. As we know, this summary was done beforehand on the basis of many suggestions, also on the part of heads and directors of Dicasteries, as well as experts in the matter.

The goal to reach is always that of fostering greater harmony in the work of the various Dicasteries and Offices, in order to achieve a more effective collaboration in that absolute transparency that builds genuine synodality and collegiality.

The reform is not an end in itself, but a means to give strong Christian witness; to foster more effective evangelization; to promote a more fruitful ecumenical spirit, to encourage a more constructive dialogue with all. The reform, earnestly desired by the majority of the Cardinals in the ambit of the General Congregations before the Conclave, must still perfect more the identity of the Roman Curia itself, namely, that of assisting the Successor of Peter in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office for the good and service of the universal Church and of the particular Churches — an exercise in which the unity of the faith and the communion of the People of God are reinforced and the mission proper to the Church is promoted in the world.

To achieve such a goal is certainly not easy. It requires time, determination and, above all, the collaboration of all. However, to do this we must first of all entrust ourselves to the Holy Spirit, who is the true guide of the Church, imploring in prayer the gift of genuine discernment.

Our meeting begins with this spirit of collaboration, which will be fruitful thanks to the contribution that each of us will express with parrhesia, fidelity to the magisterium and awareness that all this concurs with the supreme law, namely, the salus animarum. Thank you.

[Translation by ZENIT]
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