Although he was present for almost the entire morning session of the consistory of the College of Cardinals, Pope Francis at one point went to a small room off the Paul VI Hall to receive Mrs. Signora Shahindokht Molaverdi, vie-president of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
POPE FRANCIS TO COLLEGE OF CARDINALS: CURIA REFORM REQUIRES TIME, DETERMINATION, COOPERATION
Pope Francis Thursday morning, in his address to 165 members of the College of Cardinals at the start of a two-day consistory, said the work being done on the reform of the Roman Curia, “is not an end in itself, but a means to give a strong Christian witness; to promote a more effective evangelization; to promote a more fruitful ecumenical spirit; to encourage a more constructive dialogue with all.” He added that this goal “is not easy to achieve, but rather “requires time, determination and above all, everyone’s cooperation. (ANSA photo – news.va – Pope Francis and Cardinal Dolan)
The 20 cardinals that Francis will create on Saturday, including 15 electors, were present at the consistory.
The Holy Father opened the morning session of the first day of the consistory. Cardinals will meet again this afternoon and are schedule to meet all day Friday.
“’How good, how delightful it is to live as brothers all together!’ (Ps 133,1). In the words of the Psalm we give praise to the Lord who has called us together and gives us the grace to welcome the 20 new cardinals in this session. To them and to all, I give my cordial greetings. Welcome to this communion, which is expressed in collegiality.
“Thanks to all those who have prepared this event, especially to His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals. I thank the Commission of nine Cardinals and the coordinator, His Eminence Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga. I also thank His Excellency Marcello Semeraro, Secretary of the Commission of Nine Cardinals: Today he will present a summary of the work done in recent months to develop the new Apostolic Constitution for the reform of the Curia. As we know, this summary has been prepared on the basis of many suggestions, even those made by the heads of the Dicasteries, as well as experts in the field.
“The goal to be reached is always that of promoting greater harmony in the work of the various Dicasteries and Offices, in order to achieve a more effective collaboration in that absolute transparency which builds authentic sinodality and collegiality.
“The reform is not an end in itself, but a means to give a strong Christian witness; to promote a more effective evangelization; to promote a more fruitful ecumenical spirit; to encourage a more constructive dialogue with all.
“The reform, strongly advocated by the majority of the Cardinals in the context of the general congregations before the conclave, will further perfect the identity of the same Roman Curia, which is to assist the Successor of Peter in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office for the good of and in the service of the universal Church and the particular Churches. This exercise serves to strengthen the unity of faith and communion of the people of God and promote the mission of the Church in the world.
“Certainly, it is not easy to achieve such a goal: it requires time, determination and above all everyone’s cooperation. But to achieve this we must first entrust ourselves to the Holy Spirit, the true guide of the Church, imploring the gift of authentic discernment in prayer.
“It is in this spirit of collaboration that our meeting begins, which will be fruitful thanks to the contribution which each of us can express with parrhesía, fidelity to the Magisterium and the knowledge that all of this contributes to the supreme law, that being the salus animarum. Thank You.”
REFORM OF THE CURIA IS FOCUS OF CONSISTORY OF CARDINALS
(VIS) – A total of 165 cardinals participated in this morning’s first session of the Extraordinary Consistory with the Holy Father. Twenty-five were unable to attend due to illness or other serious problems, according to a report from the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., following the morning meeting.
Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga explained that the meeting of the Council of Cardinals (the so-called “C9”) which came to an end yesterday afternoon, focused primarily but not exclusively on the reform of the Curia. Other themes addressed were the regulation of the Synod, the work of the Commission for the Protection of Minors, and relations with the economic entities of the Holy See (COSEA and IOR).
Bishop Marcello Semeraro, secretary of the C9, presented the main lines of reform of the Roman Curia, in the light of the meeting of heads of the dicasteries that took place in November 2014. The issues to be considered are the functions of the Roman Curia, its relationship with other entities such as the episcopal conferences, the criteria for rationalization and simplification that must guide it in its tasks, the Secretariat of State, the coordination of the dicasteries of the Curia, the relationship between religious and laypersons and the procedures that must govern the preparation of the new constitution.
Reference was also made to the institution of two congregations. The first would encompass those organisms that until now have been concerned with the laity, the family and life. The second would deal with matters linked to charity, justice and peace. The collaboration of the pontifical councils and academies dedicated to these themes could be strengthened.
Twelve prelates intervened during the morning session, observed Fr. Lombardi: mainly cardinals who have a profound knowledge of the workings of the Curia, although there have been contributions from a diverse range of contexts. It has been observed that reform is twofold, theological and juridical, and many of its assumptions relate to canon law and ecclesiastical jurisdiction, as well as relationships with the episcopates. It was also noted that the Pope is assisted not only by the Curia, but also by the College of Cardinals and the Synod of Bishops. In this regard, the themes of synodality and collegiality were discussed, and preference was expressed for the latter denomination rather than the former.
The issue of the ongoing training of staff of the Roman Curia was not overlooked, and consideration was given to the possibility of a rotation of duties to counteract routine. In this sector, both favourable and contrary opinions were expressed by the cardinals, who emphasised that some fields require a high level of specialisation and that for this reason, change would be inadvisable.
FEBRUARY 14: CONSISTORY AND COURTESY VISITS TO NEW CARDINALS
On Saturday, February 14, at 11 am in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis will preside at an Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of new cardinals and to vote on several causes of canonization: Blessed Jeanne-Emilie De Villeneuve, foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Castres, Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified (nee Maryam Baouardy), professed nun of the Order of Discalced Carmelites and Blessd Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas (nee Maryam Sultanah), co-foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Rosary of Jerusalem of the Latins.
Click here for booklet of the ceremony: http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/libretti/2015/20150214-libretto-concistoro-creazione.pdf
The afternoon of February 14 the courtesy visits to the new cardinals will take place in the locations indicated below:
PAUL VI HALL – Atrium: Cardinals:
Manuel Jose Macario do Nascimento Clemente, Patriarch of Lisbon (Portugal)
Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, C.M; Archbishop of Addis Abeba (Ethiopia)
John Atcherley Dew; Archbishop of Wellington (New Zealand)
Edoardo Menichelli, Archbishop of Ancona-Osimo (Italy)
Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon, Archbishop of Hà Nôi (Viêt Nam)
Alberto Suarez Inda, Archbishop of Morelia (Mexico)
PAUL VI HALL – Main Hall: Cardinals:
Charles Maung Bo, S.D.B. Archbishop of Yangon (Myanmar)
Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij, Archbishop of Bangkok (Thailand)
Francesco Montenegro, Archbishop of Agrigento (Italy)
Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, S.D.B., Archbishop of Montevideo (Uruguay)
Ricardo Blázquez Pérez, Archbishop of Vallodolid (Spain)
José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán, O.A.R., Bishop of David (Panamá)
Arlindo Gomes Furtado, Bishop of Santiago de Cabo Verde (Archipelago of Cape Verde)
Soane Patita Paini Mafi, Bishop of Tonga (Island of Tonga)
Sala Regia: Cardinals Dominique Mamberti, prefect of the tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and Luigi De Magistris; prefect emeritus
Sala Ducale: Cardinals Karl-Joseph Rauber (Apostolic nuncio emeritus), Luis Hector Villalba (Archbishop emeritus of Tucumán, Argentina) and Julio Duarte Langa (Bishop emeritus of Xai-Xai, Mozambique)