2014-02-17 14:38:51

Council of eight Cardinals meets at start of busy week

(Vatican Radio) Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi on Monday briefed journalists about a meeting of the Council of Cardinals and other key encounters between Pope Francis and his closest advisers that are taking place throughout this week.

The Council of eight Cardinals, plus Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal-designate Pietro Parolin, concelebrated Mass at 7am on Monday morning with the Pope in the Chapel of the Casa Santa Marta, before beginning their work in an adjacent meeting room. The first session was dedicated to hearing a report from the Commission for Reference on the Organisation of the economic-administrative structures of the Holy See, presented by three members of that Commission. Fr Lombardi noted that no decisions have been taken by this Commission, composed mainly of lay people, but rather three of its members were able to report on the first seven months of work since it was established by Pope Francis in July last year.

On Tuesday the Cardinals are expected to receive a report from the second special commission set up by the Pope to oversee the Institute for Works of Religion, commonly known as the Vatican Bank. On Wednesday Pope Francis and the Council of Eight will meet with the 15 member Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Questions of the Holy See.

Thursday morning marks the beginning of a two day Extraordinary Consistory in the New Synod Hall during which the entire College of Cardinals will discuss the theme of the family. Following the celebration of Mid-Morning Prayer, the deacon of the College, Cardinal Angelo Sodano will open the meeting and Pope Francis is expected to greet participants. German Cardinal Walter Kasper, former president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, will then offer some reflections on the theme which will be discussed by all the cardinals during the following sessions.

Listen to Philippa Hitchen's report: RealAudioMP3

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