Vatican says three cardinals leaving C9 won’t be replaced

Pope Francis has released three cardinals from the C9 – his Council of Cardinals.

Members of the Council (known as the C9 because there are nine cardinals making up the papal advisory group) advise the pope on Church governance and reform.

Its work places a special emphasis on the reform of Pastor Bonus, the apostolic constitution which governs the Roman Curia.

Papal spokesman Greg Burke says Francis sent letters to Cardinals George Pell, Francisco Javier Errazuriz and Laurent Monsengwo at the end of October to thank them for their service to the Council over the past five years.

The letters followed a request the Council made in October for its work, structure and composition to be reviewed, “especially in light of the advanced age of some members.”

The Vatican says “considering the phase of the Council’s work, the appointment of new members is not expected at the moment.”

Francis appointed the C-9 in 2013 to help him reform the Vatican and reorganise its bureaucracy.

That work is coming to an end, with the finalising of a new document outlining the work and mission of the various congregations that make up the universal government of the church and its 1.2 billion members.

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