The Vatican has said that while there are no immediate plans to add new members to the C9, Pope Francis has released the three eldest cardinals from the duties of the advisory group.
Papal spokesman Greg Burke told journalists in a briefing last week that the Pope has sent letters to Cardinal George Pell, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz, and Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo at the end of October to thank them for their service to the Council of Cardinals over the last five years.
Francis sent the letters following a request in October from the council – which advises the Pope on matters of Church governance and reform – for a review of the work, structure, and composition of the advisory group, especially in light of the advanced age of some members.
However, the Vatican stated that, “considering the phase of the Council’s work, the appointment of new members is not expected at the moment”.
Over the course of the meetings, Bishop Marco Mellino, who last October was made adjunct secretary of the Council of Cardinals, presented the most recent draft of the new apostolic constitution of the Roman Curia.
Burke said that canon lawyers are still examining the constitution, which is provisionally titled Predicate evangelium.
The other main topics of discussion during the December 10-12 meetings were the February 2019 meeting of bishops on child protection and how to reduce the Holy See’s operating costs.