Pope Francis addresses the role of the laity in the meeting with the Cardinals of the world

Pope Francis met this Tuesday, August 30, with almost 200 cardinals from around the world to discuss the issue of Vatican reform, in which they also addressed the role of the laity.

Specifically, it was the second day of the Pope’s meeting with the 197 cardinals of the 226 members of the College of Cardinals present in Rome to participate in the working sessions with the Holy Father in the new Synod hall.

“The training of the staff, the spirituality of the Curia and, above all, the question of the laity and their possible role in the leadership of some Dicasteries were the themes on which the reflections and discussions of the Cardinals turned during the meeting at the door closed with the Pope on the apostolic constitution Praedicate Evangelium,” Vatican News reported.

The Praedicate Evangelium constitution entered into force on June 5, on the Solemnity of Pentecost, and establishes a series of reforms in the Vatican Curia, changes that have been made since then.

As described by Vatican News, the main theme of the meeting was “that of the laity in leadership roles” and recalled number 10 of the Praedicate Evangelium “every Christian, by virtue of baptism, is a missionary-disciple to the extent that You have found the love of God in Christ Jesus. This cannot be overlooked in the updating of the Curia, whose reform, therefore, must provide for the participation of the laity, also in functions of government and responsibility”.

Meeting of the Pope with the Cardinals

This important meeting in the Vatican began with the Pope’s greeting at the beginning of the work, followed by a brief speech by the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the nearly 200 cardinals, patriarchs and superiors of the Secretariat of State gathered in the new Synod hall “they exchanged opinions in linguistic groups, during which proposals were made, ideas were presented and clarifications were requested. There was also a moment of exchange in the plenary session,” the Vatican said.

For his part, Cardinal Paolo Lojudice, pointed out that “when you work in small groups, it is easier to face each other and dialogue” and added that an “open and serene confrontation has been carried out on the new Constitution and in particular on its application. on how to put it into practice.

“In the groups, rather than new elements, some ideas have been networked… It is possible that there are some passages that help to understand some elements that are less clear, less evident, in particular the one that refers to the presence of the laity even in the highest functions of the dicasteries. It is an open door that we hope can be crossed in the best possible way”, warned the Italian Cardinal.

Finally, Cardinal Lojudice explained that this meeting of the cardinals with the Pope “is a starting point because time is necessarily long to make a reform.”

“The Pope cares and has cared from the beginning, it is one of the cardinal points of the pontificate… I think that sooner or later we will reach a different consciousness, where everything is mission and even missionary, it may seem paradoxical, the offices themselves of the Curia”, he concluded.

This important meeting of the College of Cardinals concludes with the Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in Saint Peter’s Basilica.

Constitution Praedicate Evangelium

With the entry into force of this pontifical document, the Pastor Bonus constitution, which Saint John Paul II promulgated in 1988, was completely repealed.

The new apostolic constitution Praedicate Evangelium is 54 pages long and explains the functions of the 16 Vatican dicasteries.

As a first modification, all Vatican offices were renamed dicasteries. For example, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is now the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In addition, the Apostolic Limosnery became the new Dicastery for the Service of Charity.

The Pontifical Council for Culture and the Congregation for Catholic Education were merged into the Dicastery for Culture and Education, which is divided into two sections.

The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples was merged with the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization and is now called the Dicastery for Evangelization, which is directly chaired by the Pope.

Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis promoted the reform of the Vatican Curia with a series of decrees that modified the legislation and structures of the Vatican, which is reflected in the text of this new Constitution.

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