(Vatican Radio) The group of eight prelates constituting Pope Francis’ Council of
Cardinals continued their meetings on Wednesday. There was a morning session that
ran from roughly 9 AM until 12:30 PM and an afternoon session scheduled to run between
4 PM and 7 PM Rome time, during which organization of the Synod of Bishops and the
theme of the upcoming Synod Assembly were on the agenda. Listen:
The Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi SJ, briefed journalists on the progress of the sessions early Wednesday afternoon, during which he told them that Pope Francis is taking an active part in the meetings, which have shifted venue from the Apostolic Palace to a conference room in the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence in the Vatican. In his opening remarks, Fr. Lombardi SJ offered a significant terminological clarification: the members of the Council were chosen by Pope Francis on the basis of their experience and their knowledge of the situation of the Church and society in their respective geographical areas, but are not properly speaking continental “delegates”.
During the question and answer session, significant attention was paid to the lengthy interview published in the Tuesday edition of the Italian daily La Repubblica. Fr. Lombardi SJ explained that the text, like that of the interview published recently in La Civiltà Cattolica and America magazine (among other Jesuit reviews of affairs around the world), represents a “conversational” or “colloquial” form of communication. “It is not,” he explained, “a magisterial document.”
Fr. Lombardi SJ also explained that the Council of Cardinals is conducting business in Italian. He reported that the sessions opened with a broad and general reflection on the ecclesiology of Vatican Council II. He said that the pastoral care of families will be a major focal point of discussion. The group of eight Cardinals celebrated Mass with the Holy Father in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence again on Wednesday morning, and are scheduled to do so again on Thursday.