Chair of Pope’s Council of eight to visit New Zealand next week

Cardinal Oscar Rodrigues Maradiaga, the archbishop of Tegucigalpa in Honduras,  who is the Chair of the group of eight advisors, is to visit New Zealand next week shortly after their first landmark meeting concludes on Thursday, (Rome Time).

The eight Cardinals, appointed by Pope Francis, who come from around the world will be looking to reshape the current administration of the Church.

When he is in New Zealand, Cardinal Rodrigues, who is also the President of Caritas Internationalis, will meet with the New Zealand Bishops and with the staff of Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand.

A personal decree known as a “chirografo” issued by Francis said their official task of the advisory council is to advise him on “governance of the universal church” and help him revise the Pastor Bonus, the apostolic constitution on the curia drawn up by Pope John Paul II in 1988.

Indications are that that revision could be dramatic and could possibly lead to a new constitution.

Cardinal Rodríguez told Italian television last weekend that the group were not planning to just change “this and that”.

“No, that constitution is over.”

“Now it’s something different. We need to write something different. But it’s not going to take one month or two months.” He said.

Cardinal Rodríguez said his group had received suggestions on Vatican reform from around the world, including 80 pages of suggestions from Latin America. The convergence on a few main themes suggested God’s will was at work, he said.

“You cannot have millions of Catholics in the world suggesting the same unless the Holy Spirit is inspiring.”

The pope’s spokesman, Federico Lombardi, said that throughout the three-day summit, the cardinals are meeting with the pope and a secretary in a private library in the apostolic palace. The pope’s role is primarily to listen to what the men have to say.

The main language is Italian, but the cardinals are able to dip into their native tongue if needed. There will be no interpreters present. All are staying, alongside Francis, in the Domus Sanctae Marthae guesthouse in the Vatican.



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News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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