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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Pope, cardinal advisers discuss role of Vatican offices, laity

Pope Francis and members of the international Council of Cardinals advising him on Church governance deliberated on defining the role of Secretariat of State and its relationship to other Vatican offices.

Meeting with Pope Francis from 12th to 14th December, the Council of Cardinals worked on laying out clear objectives in the reform of several offices and congregations.

“Two fundamental themes emerged as the guidelines of the reform of the dicasteries: the missionary impulse and synodality,” said Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office.

Although St John Paul II’s constitution ‘Pastor Bonus’, a 1988 reform of the curia, states that the secretariat was to “foster relations” with other curial offices and “coordinate their work,” Burke told journalists it was somewhat general. The new document on the current reform will be “much more clear and laid out regarding the Secretariat of State and its role in coordinating the Curia,” he said.

Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, prefect of the new Vatican office for laity, family and life, also updated the pope and the council on upcoming projects for the dicastery.

Picture: The Christmas Tree and nativity scene are lit up in St Peter’s Square, at the Vatican during a ceremony on Friday 9th December 2016. (Andrew Medichini AP/Press Association Images).