Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, announced Thursday that Pope Francis will create new cardinals on February 14, following the February 9-11 meeting of the C9, the council of cardinals who advise the Pope on the reform of the Roman Curia, and a two-day meeting on February 12 and 13 of the entire College of Cardinals who will look at matters relating to the reorganization of the Holy See.

If the Pope keeps to the maximum number of 120 cardinals under the age of 80 who are eligible to vote in a conclave, a rule established by Blessed Paul VI, he will be able to name 10 new cardinals. The College of Cardinals today has 208 members, of whom 112 are under thje age of 80. However, two cardinals will turn 80 before the February consistory, thus paving the path for 10 new cardinals. The names of new cardinals are usually revealed at either a Sunday Angelus or Wednesday general audience about a month before the day of their creation.

In his briefing on the work of the seventh meeting of the C9 Council of Cardinals since Pope Francis established this body, Fr. Lombardi touched on the work at the center of the council’s discussions, saying this included the proceedings and comments made at the meeting of heads of Vatican dicasteries last November 24th.

In particular, Fr. Lombardi said the cardinals spoke about the ongoing project of reform of the Roman Curia, in particular, the reorganization, consolidation and probable merger of some of the pontifical councils. The cardinals also discussed the work of the Commission for the Protection of Minors, said Fr. Lombardi, noting that commission members will be expanded to a total of 18 before their next meeting so as to ensure a broad representation geographically and culturally.


In a Message to Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and to the participants in the Fourth European Congress on Youth Pastoral Ministry, Pope Francis wrote: “Those of you who work in the field of youth pastoral ministry, carry out valuable work for the Church. The young need this service: both adults and other young people of mature faith who accompany them on their path, helping them to find the road that leads to Christ.”

The three-day congress was promoted by the pontifical council in collaboration with the CCEE, Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe. It began today in Rome on the theme: “A young Church, witness to the joy of the Gospel.”

The Holy Father added that, “This pastoral ministry consists of walking with the young, accompanying them personally in the complex, and at times difficult, contexts in which they are immersed. Youth pastoral ministry must engage with the questions posed by the youth of today, and from this starting point, initiate a real and honest dialogue to bring Christ into their lives. And a true dialogue in this sense can be achieved by those who experience a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, which then overflows into their relationships with their brethren.”

The Pope encouraged the participants in the congress never to tire of announcing the Gospel, with their life and their word, since “Europe needs to rediscover it!” He also noted that much remains to be done, saying much can be accomplished if those in youth ministries consider the current situation of young Europeans through the eyes of Christ. “He teaches us to see not only the challenges and problems, but also to recognize the many seeds of love and hope dispersed across the continent, that has given to the Church as great number of saints, many of whom were young. Let us not forget that we are given the task of sowing, but it is God Who makes these seeds grow.”


In a message to Manuel Pugal Vidal, minister for the environment of the Republic of Peru and president of the 20th Conference of States Party to the United Nations Framework Agreement on Climate Change, Pope Francis spoke of his closeness and encouragement to conference organizers and participants “so that your work may be carried out during these days with an open and generous spirit.”

The two-day conference began Thursday in Lima, Peru.

The Holy Father highlighted the fact that the current debate affects all of humanity, in particular the poorest and future generations and it is therefore “a grave ethical and moral responsibility.”

“The consequences of environmental change,” he wrote, “which are already dramatically felt in many states, especially the islands of the Pacific, remind us of the grave consequences of mismanagement and inaction. The time for seeking global solutions is running out. We can find suitable solutions only if we act together and in agreement. There exists, however, a clear, definitive and unpostponable ethical imperative to act”.

The Pope emphasized that an “effective battle against global warming will be possible only through a responsible collective response that sets aside particular interests and behaviours and develops free from political and economic pressures. A collective response that is also capable of overcoming distrust and promoting a culture of solidarity, encounter and dialogue; capable of demonstrating our responsibility for protecting the planet and the human family.”

Francis concluded by expressing the hope that the conference and subsequent meetings on climate change will put into effect “a dialogue imbued with … the values of justice, respect and equality,” and give rise to fruitful decisions and initiatives, in the service of all humanity.