Pope Francis wrote to Cardinals George Pell, Francisco Javier Errázuriz, and Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya in late October to thank them for their work in the Council of Cardinals, the Holy See announced December 12. Thus, these three high prelates have left the council, which now has only six members, and will stay that size for now.
This decision of the Supreme Pontiff, explained the Vatican spokesman, follows a request expressed by the members of the Council at their meeting last September.
It comes after “reflection on the work, structure and composition of the Council itself,” taking into account the “advanced age” of some members. In view of the current phase of the work of the Council, “the appointment of new members is not expected.” The Council thus becomes the C6.
27 meetings concluded
Vatican Press Office Director Greg Burke also said today the Council of Cardinal Advisors had concluded their 27th meeting and he highlighted some of the issues that were addressed.
Burke noted that Pope Francis was present for all the sessions of the three-day meeting, excluding Wednesday morning when he presided at the General Audience.
He pointed out that the pope’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, had not been present due to his commitments in Morocco at the signing of the Global Compact for Migration.
During these days, among other things, the C6 have listened to Cardinal Reinhard Marx, coordinator of the Council for the Economy, on the “reduction of operational costs” of the Holy See. “The biggest cost is undoubtedly the staff cost,” said Greg Burke, “but there is no plan or intention to lay people off.”
However, “relocations through mobility, and where possible, early retirement” was considered. Indeed, “the sense of responsibility demands a long-term plan to reduce costs.”
Cardinal Marx has proposed to establish multi-year budgets with projections at five and ten years to have “a clearer idea of the situation and how to deal with it.”