The 30th meeting of the Council of Cardinals that is advising the Pope on the reform of the central government of the Catholic Church began in the Vatican Tuesday morning in the presence of the Pontiff.
The main focus of the meeting that will conclude on Thursday, is the new Apostolic Constitution on the reform of the Roman Curia, the central government of the Catholic Church.
The draft text of the document, whose provisional title is "Praedicate Evangelium" (Preach the Gospel), was approved by the Council of Cardinals and sent to the presidents of the national bishops’ conferences, the Synods of the Eastern Churches, the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, the Conferences of Major Superiors and a few Pontifical Universities which were asked to send observations and suggestions.
"Praedicate Evangelium" is to replace the current Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus" (The Good Shepherd) of Pope St. John Paul II which has been in force since June 28, 1988, and also includes modifications and additions by Popes Benedict XVI and Francis.
In the last meeting of the Council of Cardinals, April 8 to 10, the procedure for consultation on the new Apostolic Constitution was finalized.
All the six cardinals of the Council participated in the April meeting: Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Coordinator, Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley, Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello and Cardinal Oswald Gracias.
Also present were the Secretary of the Council, Msgr. Marcello Semeraro, and the Assistant Secretary, Msgr. Marco Mellino.
Among the issues that the April meeting discussed were the missionary orientation that the Curia must increasingly assume in the light of the new Apostolic Constitution, the commitment to strengthen the process of synodality in the Church at all levels and the need for a greater presence of women in leadership roles in the bodies of the Holy See.
Finally, it was reiterated that the Council of Cardinals is tasked with helping the Pope in the governance of the Universal Church and hence its function does not end with the publication of the Apostolic Constitution.