Draft of new constitution for Curia reform ready for consultation

Vatican City — A draft of the proposed apostolic constitution for reforming and governing the Roman Curia will soon be sent out to leaders of the world's bishops' conferences, religious orders and some pontifical universities for their observations and suggestions.

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The draft, which has been approved by Pope Francis' Council of Cardinals, will be subjected to this "consultative step" before it is once more amended and then given to the pope for his consideration, Alessandro Gisotti, interim director of the Vatican press office, told reporters April 10.

The proposed apostolic constitution, provisionally titled "Praedicate Evangelium" ("Preach the Gospel") also will be sent to the synods of the Eastern Catholic churches, the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, the conferences of major superiors of men and women religious and some pontifical universities.

They will be asked to send observations and suggestions to the Council of Cardinals so that changes or additions can be made and a final draft be given to the pope by the end of 2019, Gisotti said.

The Council of Cardinals, which has been advising the pope on the reform of the Curia and church governance in general, met at the Vatican April 8-10.

The council currently has six members: Cardinals Pietro Parolin, 64, Vatican secretary of state; Sean O'Malley of Boston, 74; Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 76; Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India, 74; Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany, 65; and Giuseppe Bertello, 76, president of the commission governing Vatican City State. Also in attendance were the council's secretary and adjunct secretary: Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano and Bishop Marco Mellino.

Gisotti said the members discussed several topics including: how the constitution must help the Curia take on a more missionary nature and outlook; the need to strengthen a process of synodality at all levels in the church; the need to have more women in management or leadership positions in the Holy See; and what they should focus on after the apostolic constitution is published as part of their ongoing mandate to advise the pope.

The council will meet again June 25-27.


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