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Curial reform focuses on mission because so much of world no longer Christian

Jeffrey Bruno | Aleteia
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Cardinal-advisors wrap up meeting focused on feedback given on the draft document

The reform of the Roman Curia aims to emphasize the missionary character of the Church, given that so much of the world is now post-Christian.

This was the observation made by Bishop Marcello Semeraro, secretary of the pope’s panel of cardinal-advisors, now known as the C6.

The 30th working session of the panel concluded today, with all members present.

Members are: Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Honduran Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, Italian Cardinal Giuseppe Bertollo, American Cardinal Sean O’Malley, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, and Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias.

Bishop Semeraro and the council’s adjunct secretary, Bishop Marco Mellino, were also present.

The meeting was largely focused on input received from bishops’ conferences, curia heads, and various other entities, who were asked to review a draft document of the curia reform project.

Bishop Semeraro maintained that our present day is very different from that of Vatican II or even of the times when the Constitution Pastor Bonus was released, referring to the last major document re-organizing the curia, promulgated by John Paul II in 1988. Now the world is no longer marked by a “Christian structure,” he said.

A “missionary transformation” of the Church is therefore necessary, he stated, mentioning that the document’s working title is Praedicate evangelium — a choice of name is not trivial: the announcement of the Good News is the last command given by Christ in the Gospel.

Women to head dicasteries?

Bishop Mellino was in charge of reviewing the feedback on the draft document, and made a brief presentation to members of the C6 in three areas: general comments; “fundamental” issues to be resolved ahead of the study of the text; and more specific comments.

In addition to this report, the Council of Cardinals also heard a report from the dean of the Roman Rota, to reflect on legal matters.

Bishop Semeraro said that the draft constitution does not exclude the presence of women in the leadership of curial offices.

Members of the Council of Cardinals still hope to turn in their proposal to the pope by the end of the year, possibly at its next session meetings to be held from September 16 to 19.

However, Bishop Semeraro stressed, even if this happens, the document won’t be released immediately. The pontiff will review it, as will the leaders of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

A Mass for the wedding anniversary of Carriquiry

The C6 concluded the meeting with a Mass celebrated by the pope, which recognized the 50th wedding anniversary of Guzmán Carriquiry Lecour and Lídice María Gómez Mango.

Carriquiry is one of the oldest lay employees of the Roman Curia, having worked there since 1971. Now vice president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, he is also a close friend of Pope Francis.

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