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Group of eight cardinals to advise Pope on curial reforms

Cardinal O'Malley of Boston is a member of the nine-man group (CNS)

Pope Francis has established a group of cardinals to advise him on the reform of the Roman Curia and governance of the worldwide Church.

The group consists of eight cardinals from all over the world and one Italian bishop, who will serve as the group’s secretary. Honduran Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga will serve as the body’s co-ordinator.

The Vatican announced the decision this morning as Francis marked the end of his first month as Pope. Yesterday the Pope visited the Vatican Secretariat of State to thank officials for their work.

In a statement issued this morning the Vatican said: “The Holy Father Francis, taking up a suggestion that emerged during the general congregations preceding the conclave, has established a group of cardinals to advise him in the government of the universal Church and to study a plan for revising the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, Pastor Bonus.

“The group’s members are Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, Archbishop Emeritus of Santiago de Chile, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa and Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano in the role of secretary.

“The group’s first meeting has been scheduled for 1-3 October 2013. His Holiness is, however, currently in contact with the aforementioned cardinals.”

The Religion News Service reported this morning that Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi SJ insisted that the new group would not diminish the role of the Roman Curia but was a “signal of the Pope’s reflection and attention on the issues facing the organisation of the Church”.