The Council of Cardinals met with the Holy Father for three days: Monday, June 12; Tuesday, June 13 and Wednesday, June 14. All the members of the Council were in attendance except for Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston (USA).
Pope Francis was absent this morning for the General Audience.
The working sessions were held each morning from 9:00am until 12:30pm and each afternoon from 4:30pm until 7:00pm and were dedicated to deepening the ways in which the Roman Curia can better serve the local Churches. For example, a more ample consultation, including members of consecrated life and the laity, concerning prospective candidates being considered for the Office of Bishop.
Among the other propositions, the possibility of transferring some faculties from the Roman Dicasteries to local Bishops and to Episcopal Conferences in a spirit of healthy decentralization. For example, the transfer from the Dicastery for the Clergy to the Episcopal Conferences of the examination and authorization an unmarried deacon who wish to serve as a priest; passage to new weddings of a permanent deacon who has been widowed; and the request to proceed to ordination as a priest that is presented by a deacon who has been widowed.
The Cardinals made final considerations concerning various Dicasteries of the Curia, especially concerning the Congregation for the Evangelization of People. They studied and re-read texts which were subsequently submitted to the Holy Father concerning the Dicastery for Inter-religious Dialogue; the Dicastery for Oriental Churches; the Dicastery for Legislative Texts; and three tribunals: the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Supreme Tribunal and the Apostolic Signatura as well as the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.
The eminent Cardinal George Pell provided an update concerning the work of the Secretariat of the Economy, over which he presides. particular attention was paid to the steps which have been made in the process of budgeting the economic resources and monitoring the finances during the first trimester of 2017, which essentially confirmed the budgets set out - with a few exceptions. The process of determining the budget for 2018 and of monitoring the second trimester of 2017 will soon begin.
The Prefect of the Secretariat for Communications, Monsignor Dario Edoardo Viganò, presented a report concerning the reforms being undertaken relative to the Holy See's communications systems. He illustrated the economic and managerial efforts of the Secretariat, highlighting some of the positive results. He then explained the plans which are at various stages of implementation in the new communications system, in line with that which the Holy Father outlined during his recent meeting during the first Plenary of the Dicastery for Communications.
The next meeting of the Council of Cardinals will take place from September 11 to 13, 2017.