Pope Francis announced on Saturday the appointment of a group of eight Cardinals representing all continents to advise him on possible revisions to the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia.
“The Holy Father Francis, taking up a suggestion that emerged during the General Congregations preceding the Conclave, has established a group of cardinals to advise him in the government of the universal Church and to study a plan for revising the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, ‘Pastor Bonus’,” said a press release from the Vatican Information Service (VIS).
The Pastor Bonus was issued by Pope John Paul II and deals with a wide range of issues pertaining to the structure and operation of the various offices of the Roman Curia.
An Apostolic Constitution is the highest level of decree issued by a pope, followed by an Encyclical Letter, and is usually issued as a Papal Bull because of its significance.
The group of Cardinals who will sit on this newly formed committee include:
Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State;
Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop emeritus of Santiago de Chile, Chile;
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, India;
Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany;
Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo;
Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley O.F.M., archbishop of Boston, USA;
Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia;
Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, S.D.B., archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in the role of coordinator; and
Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Italy, in the role of secretary.
The VIS said that although the group’s first meeting will not take place until October 1, 2013, the Pope is already in contact with the cardinals.
Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi told the National Catholic Register that the group shows that the Pope wishes to implement the suggestions made by the College of Cardinals in preparation for the Conclave. He stressed it is not a council, board or commission to take decisions but rather will act as a consultative body. He also pointed out that the eight cardinals represent all five continents.
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