By Linda Bordoni
A statement released by the Holy See Press Office on Wednesday said all C9 members – with the exception of Cardinal Pell – were present for the three day session. The Pope attended the meetings on Monday and Tuesday but was unable to be present on Wednesday because of the General Audience.
Theological statutes of episcopal Conferences
The statement revealed that the reflection on the theological statute of episcopal Conferences stemmed from point n. 32 of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Evangelii Gaudium” that states that the “juridical status of episcopal conferences which would see them as subjects of specific attributions, including genuine doctrinal authority, has not yet been sufficiently elaborated. Excessive centralization, rather than proving helpful, complicates the Church’s life and her missionary outreach”.
Thus, the Cardinals agreed to re-examine the Motu Proprio “Apostolos suos” in the spirit of the healthy de-centralization Pope Francis so often refers to, highlighting that it is the Lord who safeguards unity within the Church.
Formation of diplomatic staff
The Cardinals also listened to a report delivered by Archbishop Jan Romeo Pawlowski on progress made by the Third Section of the Secretariat of State which he heads, and that was established recently for the formation of diplomatic staff.
Containment of costs
Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Coordinator for the Council for the Economy, spoke about the work being done in the field of human resources, progress achieved in budget presentation, the containment of costs and the reduction of the Holy See’s deficit.
New options for processing cases pertaining to the abuse of minors
The C9 reportedly dedicated much time discussing new options for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in order to be able more speedily process cases pertaining to the abuse of minors.
Finally, the Cardinals listened to a report by Cardinal Peter Turkson on the activity of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development and reflected on the Congregations for the Oriental Churches and for the Evangelization of Peoples.
The next C9 meeting will take place from 23 to 25 April 2018.