Sunday, September 29, 2013

Preparations finalized for meeting between Pope Francis and eight Cardinal commission

September 29, 2013. ( Six months after Pope Francis' election, his approach and the focus of his pontificate are becoming clearer. One of the most significant events will be the first meeting between the Pope and the eight Cardinals that will advise him on changes to the governance of the Church and the Roman Curia.  

In the past few months leading to this meeting, each Cardinal has been gathering information from the bishops in their region. Between October 1st and 3rd, they will meet inside the Vatican. And on October 4th, the Cardinals will travel with Pope Francis for his firs visit to Assisi.

But who are these eight Cardinals? 

Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, is the group's coordinator. He speaks various languages and has worked numerous times with Pope Francis, most tellingly, when they drafted the Aparecida Document in 2007.

The same goes for Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz, from Chile. He just turned 80 years old, and has extensive experience leading the Church in Latin America.

Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias will represent Catholics in Asia. He is 68 years old and serves as the Archbishop of Bombay.

Europe will be represented by German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich. At 61 years old, he is the youngest of the group.

Speaking for the Church in Africa during these meetings will be Congolese Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya. 

Another of the Cardinals present at the meeting will be the Archbishop of Syndey, Cardinal George Pell.

From North America, the Capuchin Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, will also attend.

And lastly, the meeting will also include Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, the only Italian that the Pope chose to help define the work they do.

Though he's not a Cardinal, Archbishop of Albano Marcelo Semenaro will join the group as the secretary for their meetings.

Pope Francis named the eight member commission on April 13 as an answer to the concerns many cardinals brought up during the General Congregations leading up to the conclave.

Once finished, the commission's proposals will be presented to the Pope, but simply as suggestions. Ultimately, it'll be Pope Francis who will have the final say on what changes to make, based on their recommendations.

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