Cardinals discuss major curial reforms

Major reforms to the way the curia undertakes its work was a principal item of discussion for the newly formed Council of Cardinals last week, it has been revealed.

In a briefing offered by the Holy See’s Press Office director following the October 1-3 meeting, Fr Federico Lombardi revealed details of the meeting and indicated that ‘reform’ will not mean a mere updating of the curia’s constitution  but rather the drawing up of an entirely new charter for members as they undertake their tasks.


“The direction of their work would not indicate an updating of the apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, with retouches and marginal modifications”, Fr Lombardi explained, “but rather, a new constitution with significant new aspects. The cardinals have made it clear that they do not intend to make cosmetic retouches or minor modifications to Pastor Bonus.”

Curial reforms

Specifically on the much anticipated curial reforms, Fr Lombardi said: “When dealing with the reform of the curia and its institutions, the council also plans to give more specific attention to issues relating to the laity, so that this dimension of the life of the Church is properly and effectively recognised and followed by the governance of the Church. Now there is a Pontifical Council for the Laity, but it is still possible to think of ways of strengthening this aspect.”

The Council of Cardinals, now referred to as the ‘G8’ (Group of 8) in media circles agreed to gather again December 3-5, with another more meetings set for February 2014.

The Council of Cardinals comprises Cardinals Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, retired Archbishop of Santiago, Chile; Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India; Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany; Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo; Sean O’Malley of Boston; George Pell of Sydney; Giuseppe Bertello, president of the commission governing Vatican city state; and Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.