Fr. Lombardi Rejects Presumed Draft of New Apostolic Constitution

Says Alleged Draft Was Merely a Note

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Upon hearing the media reports that an alleged draft of a new Apostolic Constitution has circulated, Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, responded: «I repeat what I said, that this is not in any way of a working document of the current C9, but a note of many months ago written by one of the members on the basis of previous Pastor Bonus.”

According to the Italian blog IlSismografo, the Vatican spokesman denied what had circulated was a common working document.

«Talking about it now as a draft of the new Constitution,» Fr. Lombardi said–especially in the wake of various meetings, consultations, and consistories–, «creates confusion.»

The «Pastor Bonus» is the apostolic constitution promulgated by Pope John Paul II on June 28, 1988. It instituted several reforms regarding how the Roman Curia is run. The document sets out the roles of the secretariat of state, congregations, tribunals, pontifical councils, administrative services and pontifical commissions, as well as other norms, such as the ad limina visits.

During the recent meetings of the Council of Cardinals, or the C9, in the Vatican, they have been discussing revising the Pastor Bonus and thereby reforming the Roman Curia.

The last meeting of the C9 was this February, at which time ideas were proposed such as merging some pontifical councils into a different consistory, having an office dedicated to the environment and ecology, and having a congregation for the laity. No decisions were made.

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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