Council of Cardinals issues statement of support for Pope Francis

September 10 public statement was issued on the opening day of the group’s meeting

Pope Francis leads the 18th meeting of his Council of Cardinals at the Vatican Feb. 13, 2017. The Council of Cardinals, often referred to as the C9, held its first meeting of the year Feb. 26-28 with Pope Francis. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano, handout) 

The Council of Cardinals has issued an unusual statement of support for Pope Francis, while also suggesting that the Pontiff consider replacing some of its members.

Gathering in Rome for a 3-day series of meetings that began on September 10, the Council promptly issued a public statement expressing “full solidarity with Pope Francis in the face of what has happened in the last weeks.” The statement went on to say that “the Holy See is about to formulate any necessary clarifications.” The Council was obviously responding to public criticism of the Pope’s handling of sex-abuse complaints. The statement did not allude directly to charges raised by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano. Pope Francis himself has said that he will not respond to the charges, but the Council’s statement seemed to indicate that some response from the Vatican can be expected.

The Council also said that it had “decided to ask the pope for a reflection on the work, the structure, and composition of the Council itself, taking into account the advanced age of some members.” Five members of the group are beyond the statutory retirement age of 75: Cardinals Maradiaga, Errazuriz, Monsengwo, Pell, and Bertello.

The Council’s statement did not reflect the fact that three members—Cardinals Errazuriz, Maradiaga, and O’Malley—have also been criticized for failure to respond to sex-abuse complaints. Cardinal Pell himself has been charged with sexual abuse, and has taken a leave from his duties while answering criminal charges in his native Australia.

Pope Francis created the Council of Cardinals in 2013, and named the original eight members to 5-year terms. (He later added Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State, to make a 9-member council.) Those original terms have now expired, but the Pontiff has not made any changes in the group.

The September 10 public statement by the Council of Cardinals, issued on the opening day of the group’s meeting, was itself unusual. In his 25 previous public meetings, the Council has usually not issued any statement until the conclusion of its 3-day session.

From Catholic Culture.

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Comments

  1. Steve Seitz says:

    This decision by the Council of Cardinals is not surprising since they appear to be his closest advisers. Interestingly, the composition of this Council seems to reinforce Cdl. Vigano’s claims.

    These men are all likely part of problem. Please take note of the names.

  2. helen wheels says:

    largely a hand picked bunch of flunkies

  3. Who is the Pope to judge? That is the problem with a Peronista Papacy in my opinion. Viganò will be a Saint in the future, or should be.

    • Steve Seitz says:

      If the Church doesn’t take care of business fast enough, Cardinal Vigano could easily end up like a saint — like St. Joan of Arc!

  4. If seventy five is the practical retirement age for Cardinals, I would expect the “Personnel Office’ would present the Pope with say three names of qualified replacements ninety days before the individual Cardinal’s seventy fifth birthday. If the Pope wanted a Cardinal to continue, that Cardinal would have to agree and the rest of the Council would have to agree.

    • Steve Seitz says:

      mike m,
      The personnel office probably did recommend replacements. But this Pope has been demonstrating that he doesn’t get rid of his best advisors.

  5. St. Christopher says:

    Hahaha. These guys — the Pope’s hand-picked “Council of Cardinals” — are like Hitler’s inner-circle. Sure Goering and Goebbels and Himmler would all say “jawohl” to any question about supporting Der Fuhrer. Don’t be stupid.

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