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Briefing of the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, on the 21st Meeting of the Council of Cardinals (11-13 September 2017), 13.09.2017

At 13.00 today, the director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, gave a briefing on the twenty-first meeting of the Council of Cardinals with the Holy Father Francis.

The Council of Cardinals met for three days: Monday 11, Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 September. All members of the Council were present, apart from His Eminence Cardinal George Pell and His Eminence Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya. The Holy Father joined the group only from Tuesday morning onwards, following his apostolic trip to Colombia, and was absent this morning for the General Audience.

The working sessions took place in the morning from 9.00 to 12.30, and in the afternoon from 16.30 to 19.00, and were dedicated to study of the status of the proposals offered by the Council to the Holy Father for the reform of the Curia.

There was also a reflection on the Pope’s texts regarding the reform of the Curia, led by Cardinal Óscar Rodriguez Maradiaga. The texts were mostly those of the traditional Christmas meeting with the Roman Curia, but also of the two Consistories – February and October 2015 – and of the fiftieth anniversary of the Synod of Bishops. Some of the themes under discussion were: the Curia as a tool for evangelisation and service to the Pope and for the local churches; decentralisation; the role of the apostolic nunciatures; and the selection and competence of staff, less clerical and more international, with an increase in young people and women.

Among other matters, the Cardinals reflected on the recent Motu Proprio “Magnum Principium” with regard to its impact on the work of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. H.E. Msgr. Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, spoke on the work of his dicastery. This afternoon His Eminence Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of “Propaganda Fide”, will also be heard.

The Cardinals re-read the Statutes of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, established on 1 September 2016.

His Eminence Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley updated the other members of the Council on the work of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

The next meeting of the Council of Cardinals will take place on 11, 12 and 13 December 2017.