Pope thanks three departing members of C9

The meeting of the C9 held this week at the Vatican

Greg Burke, Director of the Vatican Press Office, reported that three members of the Council of Cardinals (C9) will be leaving the group. Thus, at least for the time being, the C9 has become the C6.

The announcement was made on Wednesday after the Council of Cardinals met for three days. Participants were Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, Cardinal Reinhard Marx; Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello; and Cardinal Osvald Gracias. The Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, was absent because he was on official duties abroad.   As usual, the Holy Father took part in the works, although he was absent on Wednesday morning due to the General Audience.

Taking into account the advanced age of some of the members, at the end of October the Holy Father wrote to Cardinal George Pell, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz and Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya thanking them for the work they did over these five years.

Having considered the Council’s work, at present there is no plan to appoint new members, according to Burke.

The Cardinal Counselors addressed several subjects during this week’s meeting, among them the meeting with the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of the Catholic Church, on the subject of the “protection of minors,” which will be held in the Vatican from February 21-24, 2019, and the Apostolic Constitution of the Roman Curia. In addition, the Cardinals reflected further on questions regarding the Dicastery for Communication.

A new proposal of the Apostolic Constitution, whose provisional title is Predicate Evangelium, was given to the Holy Father.

Cardinal Marx, Coordinator of the Council for the Economy, addressed the question regarding the reduction of the Holy See’s operating costs. The greatest cost, undoubtedly, is that of the personnel. Job descriptions must be done to make the work of every Dicastery more efficient. Where possible, early retirement will be considered. The sense of responsibility calls for multi-year budgets so that the Council for the Economy can formulate 5 to 10-year projections to give a clearer idea of the situation and the way to address it.

The Council of Cardinals listened to Dr Paolo Ruffini, who after illustrating the state of advancement of the Reform, which created the Dicastery for Communication, reflected on the next steps to take to bring together all the institutions involved and guaranteeing coordinated management and an ever more effective collaboration of resources thanks, as well, to new technological instruments. Then Dr. Ruffini illustrated the criteria to guarantee a unitary strategy of the Holy See’s communication, emphasizing the unique value of the multi-linguistic offer of the Vatican media.

The next meeting of the Council of Cardinals will take place on February 18, 19 and 20, 2019.