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Pope Francis and the Council of Cardinal Advisors Pope Francis and the Council of Cardinal Advisors  (Vatican Media)

Council of Cardinal Advisors wrap-up December meeting

The Director of the Holy See Press Office briefed journalists on the December meeting of the Pope’s Council of Cardinal Advisors that ended on Wednesday.

By Linda Bordoni

Speaking to journalists at the Vatican Press Office, Director Greg Burke said 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 had been present for all encounters of the 3-day meeting, excluding Wednesday morning when he presided at the General Audience.

He pointed out that Cardinal Parolin had not been present due to his commitments in Morocco at the signing of the Global Compact for Migration,  and also that three other Cardinals are no longer part of the Council.

Three Cardinals no longer part of the Council

.“In October the Pope had written to three of the more elderly Cardinals – Cardinal Pell from Australia, Cardinal Errazuriz from Chile and Cardinal Monsengwo of Congo thanking them for their work,” Burke said, so they are no longer part of the Council and he specified that the Pope has not named new Cardinals in their place.

Burke pointed to some important themes of the meeting including the containment of costs of the Holy See, the February meeting of the Presidents of Episcopal Conferences, and the new Apostolic Constitution concerning the Roman Curia and the Dicastery for Communication.

He said Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Coordinator for the Council of the Economy, “got everybody’s attention in talking about how to contain costs in the Vatican”.

Containing costs

Marx, he said, mentioned several proposals to help the various offices plan “multi-year budgets – so it’s not just from year to year” but with the intention of having a long-term plan that would take them “five to ten years down the road”.

Burke said Cardinal Marx also voiced the possibility that all Vatican offices “have job descriptions for each of their positions to see if there is not some possibility of being more effective, or having more mobility of jobs within the Vatican” and he laid out the possibility of “people going into early retirement”.

Burke also reiterated that Marx confirmed that although the highest cost sustained by the Vatican pertains to personnel, there is no intention to dismiss anyone.

Dicastery for Communication

The Press Office Director finally spoke of how the new Prefect of the Dicastery for Communication, Paolo Ruffini, had illustrated at what stage the Vatican Media reform finds itself, underscoring the importance of synergy and describing the criteria to be able to guarantee a unified strategy for communications.

He said that Ruffini also commented on the value of the different means of communication (radio, TV, web, social media) and on the unique richness of the Vatican’s multi-linguistic media production.

Watch Greg Burke


12 December 2018, 15:28