The Council of Cardinals met for three days: February 18-20. The meeting was attended by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, S.D.B., Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, and Cardinal Oswald Gracias. The secretary of the Council, H.E. Msgr. Marcello Semeraro, and the adjunct secretary, H.E. Msgr. Marco Mellino were also present.
The Holy Father, as usual, participated in the works, although he was absent this morning for the general audience. This afternoon he will be present at the final session of the meeting.
The working sessions took place in the morning from 9.00 to 12.30 and in the afternoon from 16.30 to 19.00. The main activity of this meeting of the Council consisted of the updating and rereading of the draft of the new Apostolic Constitution, whose provisional title, as is known, is Praedicate Evangelium. In particular, the stylistic revision and canonistic rereading of the text continued. The members of the Council of Cardinals indicated how to proceed with the consultation of the draft that the Holy Father, in the name of synodality, intends to promote. It was decided that the national Episcopal Conferences, the Synods of the Oriental Churches, the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, the Conferences of the major superiors and some Pontifical Universities will be consulted.
On Tuesday 19 the Council was addressed by Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., moderator of the Meeting on “The protection of minors in the Church”, convened during the 26th meeting of the Council of Cardinals, held from 10 to 12 September 2018. The importance of this event, as part of the journey of commitment in making the Church an increasingly safe home for children and adolescents, was strongly emphasized.
In this context, the Council reflected carefully on the removal from the clerical state of the archbishop emeritus of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, imposed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The members of the Council, although not presidents of Episcopal Conferences or holding other office, and the bishops, secretary and adjunct secretary of the Council, will participate in the Meeting on “The protection of minors in the Church”, which will be held from tomorrow until 24 February.
The next meeting of the Council of Cardinals will take place on April 8-10, 2019.