Vatican City, 12 February 2015 (VIS) – At 9 a.m. this morning, in the Vatican's Synod Hall, the Extraordinary Consistory of the College of Cardinals began, attended by the Holy Father and by those who will be created cardinals in next Saturday's consistory. The works will take place over two days, today and tomorrow, with sessions from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Following the Terce prayer and greetings from Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, the Holy Father Francis gave a brief address to those present. “Welcome to this communion, expressed in collegiality”, he began, thanking the Comission of the nine cardinals and its coordinator, Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga and the secretary, Bishop Marcello Semeraro who presented a summary of the work carried out during these months in drafting the new Apostolic Constitution on the reform of the Curia. This summary, noted Pope Francis, “has been prepared on the basis of many suggestions, also on the part of the heads and officers of the dicasteries, alongside experts on the subject”.
“The aim is always that of promoting greater harmony in the work of the various dicasteries and offices, in order to achieve more effective collaboration in that absolute transparency that edifies authentic synodality and collegiality”, he continued, commenting that “reform is not an end in itself, but a way of giving strong Christian witness; to promote more effective evangelisation; to promote a fruitful ecumenical spirit; and to encourage a more constructive dialogue with all”.
“Reform, strongly advocated by the majority of cardinals in the context of the general congregations before the Conclave, must continue to enhance the identity of the Roman Curia itself, that is, that of assisting Peter's Successor in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office for the good and in the service of the universal Church and the particular Churches, in order to strengthen unity of faith and the communion of the people of God, and to promote the mission of the Church in the world”, continued the Pontiff.
“Certainly, reaching this objective is not easy: it requires time, determination and, above all, the collaboration of all. But to achieve this we must first of all trust in the Holy Spirit, Who is the true guide of the Church, imploring in prayer the gift of authentic discernment”, he concluded. “With this spirit of collaboration our meeting begins; it will be fruitful thanks to the contribution that each one of us is able to express with parrhesia, fidelity to the Magisterium and the awareness that all this contributes to the supreme law, that is, the 'salus animarum'. Thank you”.