The 30th meeting of the Council of Cardinals concludes today in the Vatican. The members will conclude the day an hour earlier than usual to partake in the Mass at 6 p.m., which will be presided over by Pope Francis, for the 50th anniversary of the marriage of Guzmán Carriquiry Lecour, Vice-president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, and his wife, Lídice María Gómez Mango.
The Council used to be commonly called the C9 but now is being termed by many as the C6, following the dismissal of three of its members during the December 2018 meeting. The Council is studying the plans for reforming the Apostolic Constitution “Pastor Bonus” on the Roman Curia.
The Council of Cardinals, whose meeting began Tuesday and concludes today, consisted of the following nine prelates: Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Vatican City State; Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop emeritus of Santiago, Chile; Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay; Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich; Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa, Congo; Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, archbishop of Boston; Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy (not present, in Australia); Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras; and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State.
The working sessions are held in the morning from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and in the afternoon, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and are always dedicated to further considerations on several dicasteries of the Curia.
Those present were Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, S.D.B., Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello and Cardinal Oswald Gracias, as well as the secretary of the Council, Bishop Marcello Semeraro, and adjunct secretary, Msgr. Marco Mellino.
Today in the Holy See Press Office, Director ad interim of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, and Secretary of the Council, Bishop of Albano, Marcello Semeraro, spoke about the developments. While clarifying the document is not ready and would not be presented today, they noted that it is expected by the end of 2019, and are hoping that it may be ready around their meeting in September.
The Holy Father participated as usual in the meetings, although he was absent on Wednesday morning, as usual, due to his weekly General Audience, and this morning for a series of audiences at the Apostolic Palace.
According to a statement from the Holy See Press Office, during the meeting, by express wish of the Holy Father, a part of the observations received by the Council of Cardinals was illustrated. Monsignor Mellino, the Council’s adjunct secretary, it noted, presented the proposals to the Pope and the Council in the following order:
1) General comments on the text sent
2) Fundamental questions to be solved before examining the text
3) Illustration of the specific comments received
“The consultation, which recorded the response of all the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia and of the Pontifical Universities in Rome, will continue in order to allow a response from the National Episcopal Conferences, which were unable to meet the deadline,” it noted.
Bishop Semeraro also confirmed to ZENIT at the briefing that the heads of the appropriate religious orders, via the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), for Catholic women religious, and the Union of Superiors General (USG), for male religious, were consulted.
In the briefing, the Vatican spokesman pointed out that Dean of the Roman Rota, Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto, in these days provided a reflection on the activities of the Dicasteries with jurisdiction in legal matters.
The 31st Meeting of the Council of Cardinals is scheduled to take place Sept. 17-19, 2019.