Pope opens cardinals’ discussion of Curia reform; new offices explained

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February 12, 2015

Pope Francis leads meeting with cardinals and cardinals-designate at Vatican

Pope Francis speaks during a meeting with cardinals and cardinals-designate in the synod hall at the Vatican Feb. 12. At left is Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals. The pope, cardinals and cardinals-designate were meeting for two days to discuss the reform of the Roman Curia in advance of a Feb. 14 consistory. The pope will create 20 new cardinals at the consistory. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The reform of the Roman Curia should promote “greater harmony” among the Vatican offices, not primarily to save money or promote efficiency, but to solidify the unity of the church and strengthen its ability to evangelize, Pope Francis said.

The pope arrived in the Vatican’s synod hall a half hour before the consistory, or meeting of the world’s cardinals, was set to begin Feb. 12. Fewer than two dozen cardinals were there before him and the pope greeted them before standing at the front of the hall to welcome each of the others as they arrived.

Nineteen of the 20 churchmen Pope Francis was to induct into the College of Cardinals Feb. 14 were present — sitting in two rows behind the other cardinals; the Vatican said a total of 165 new and old cardinals were present. Including those who were about to receive their red hats, the College of Cardinals has 227 members. Most of those who were not in attendance are quite elderly or infirm and were unable to attend.

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