Morning Briefing, Roman Style

Vatican City — Welcome to the Rome-centric version of your weekly international edition of the daily briefing, where we highlight the most recent news out of or about the Vatican.

First, as I write this in the Vatican press office May 3, a delegation of German bishops is meeting with several heads of offices of the Roma Curia about their proposal to allow non-Catholic spouses of Catholics to receive Communion on a case-by-case basis. Catholic News Service had a backgrounder on some of the issues at stake last week.

Yesterday, three Chilean clergy abuse survivors who met with Pope Francis over the weekend said the pontiff apologized to them each individually and was “attentive, receptive and very empathetic” in their meetings. Juan Carlos Cruz, one of the survivors, said he had “never, never saw someone be so contrite.”

Last week, the Vatican’s financial watchdog agency released its annual report for 2017. The Financial Intelligence Authority said the report confirmed a "robust reporting system and an effective application of the regulatory framework of the Holy See and the Vatican City State." But it noted that very few cases have led to indictments and prosecutions by the office of the promoter of justice at the Vatican City State's tribunal.

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Pope Francis’ advisory Council of Cardinals met again April 23-25. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said the prelates have now reviewed a complete draft of a new apostolic constitution that would govern the offices of the Vatican’s bureaucracy. Burke said the document emphasizes that the Rome-based church leadership structure should be at the service of the pope and local churches around the world.

Francis also met April 20-22 with the new iteration of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, as part of the group’s first meeting together in Rome. According to a press release, Francis said he wanted to confirm the commission’s statutes, which were issued in 2015 on an experimental basis for three years.

[Joshua J. McElwee is NCR Vatican correspondent. His email address is jmcelwee@ncronline.org. Follow him on Twitter: @joshjmac.]


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