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Holy See Press Office Communiqué on the meeting of the Council of Cardinals, 06.12.2023

On 4 and 5 December, at Santa Marta, the session of the Council of Cardinals took place. All the member Cardinals, together with the Holy Father, and the Secretary of the Council, were present.

On this occasion, the focus of reflection was the theme of the role of women in the Church. The conversation was enlivened by the interventions by Sr. Linda Pocher, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, lecturer in Christology and Mariology at the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences “Auxilium” in Rome; Lucia Vantini, who teachers fundamental theology, philosophy of religion and philosophy of knowledge at the Institute of Religious Sciences in Verona, philosophical and theological anthropology at the Studio San Zeno in Verona, and philosophy of dialogue at the San Bernardino Institute of Ecumenical Studies in Venice; and Luca Castiglione, presbyter of the diocese of Milan and lecturer in fundamental theology at the Milan Seminary. The Council agreed on the need to listen, also and above all in individual Christian communities, to the feminine aspect of the Church, so that the processes of reflection and decision-making can benefit from the irreplaceable contribution of women.

The current social, political and ecclesial situation in the various regions of origin of the Council members was examined, with particular regard to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the grave situation in the Holy Land, as well as the work of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 28) taking place in Dubai.

Cardinal O’Malley illustrated various hypotheses on ways to organize assemblies of episcopal Conferences, five years on from the meeting on the prevention of abuse of minors and vulnerable persons held in February 2019, which were then discussed and evaluated with the members of the Council.

Finally, the meeting offered the possibility to discuss the first session of the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, and to continue reflection on the implementation of the spirit, principles and criteria of the Apostolic Constitution Praedicate evangelium in the diocesan Curias.

The next session will be held in the month of February 2024.