Pontiff opens consistory to examine curial reform and organization of October Synod.
VATICAN CITY— Pope Francis today reminded cardinals gathered in a two-day consistory that the reform of the Roman Curia “is not an end in itself but a means for providing a strong Christian witness; for fostering a more effective evangelization; for promoting a more fruitful ecumenical spirit; and for encouraging a more constructive dialogue with all.”
Opening the meeting of the College of Cardinals in the Vatican’s Synod Hall, the Pope told the 175 cardinals present (of 207 total) that the meetings will be fruitful thanks to frank exchanges of opinion (“parrhesía”), “fidelity to the Magisterium”, and the knowledge that everything contributes to the supreme law, that is, salus animarum [the salvation of souls].
Following this morning’s opening session, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, Director of the Holy See Press Office, reported that Pope Francis has also chosen to use the consistory as an opportunity to address the organization of the upcoming Synod on the Family and the progress made by the two commissions of the IOR.
Present at today’s meeting were the 20 prelates who will be created cardinals on Saturday.
Here below is the full text of the Pope’s address.
“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live in unity!” (Ps 133:1).
With the words of the psalm we give praise to the Lord who has called us together and gives us the grace to welcome 20 new cardinals in this session. To them and to all I extend my cordial greeting. Welcome to this communion, which is expressed in collegiality.
Thank you to all those who have prepared for this event, especially His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals. I thank the Commission of Nine Cardinals and His Eminence Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, the Coordinator. I also thank His Excellency Marcello Semeraro, Secretary of the Commission of the Nine Cardinals: today he presents us with a summary of the work carried out 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 the a great many suggestions, also by the heads and parties responsible of the dicasteries, as well as experts in the matter.
The goal to be reached is always to promote greater harmony in the work of the various dicasteries and offices, in order to achieve more effective collaboration in that absolute transparency that builds authentic synodality and collegiality.
The reform of the Roman Curia is not an end in itself but a means for providing a strong Christian witness; for fostering a more effective evangelization; for promoting a more fruitful ecumenical spirit; for encouraging a more constructive dialogue with all. The reform, eagerly hoped for by the majority of Cardinals in the first general congregations of the Conclave, is to improve ever more the identity of the Roman Curia itself, which is to assist the Successor of Peter in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office for the good and the service of the universal Church and the particular Churches. This exercise strengthens the unity of faith and communion of the People of God and promotes the mission of the Church in the world.
Certainly this goal is not easy to achieve: it requires time, determination and above all the cooperation of all. But in order to accomplish this, we must first rely on the Holy Spirit, who is the true guide of the Church, by imploring in prayer the gift of authentic discernment.
In this spirit of collaboration our meeting begins, which will be fruitful thanks to the contribution that each one of us can make with parrhesía, fidelity to the Magisterium and the knowledge that everything contributes to the supreme law, that is, the salus animarum [salvation of souls]. Thank you.
Diane Montagna is Rome correspondent for Aleteia’s English edition.