The Vatican has downplayed the progress of the select group of eight cardinals advising Pope Francis on reforming the governance of the Church, saying not to expect final results until 2015, reports NCR Online.
In its previous meetings, the council has reviewed the work of Vatican congregations with much emphasis on reforming financial structures. The council will now shift its attention to studying the Vatican's 12 pontifical councils, a Vatican statement said yesterday.
'The work to be done is still much, so it should not be expected that it will be completed in the current year, but in the following,' the Vatican statement said regarding the work of the Council of Cardinals, which is meeting for the fourth time Monday through Wednesday at the Vatican.
Francis established the council last year to 'study a project of revision' of the Vatican's bureaucracy, appointing eight separate cardinals from six continents to advise him. Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga is the group's coordinator; Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley is its only participant from the United States.
The work of the council has raised much speculation over how Francis will reform the Vatican bureaucracy, known as the Roman Curia.
Following their last meeting, held in February, Francis announced a sweeping reorganization of the Church's financial structures, creating a new central office for financial matters called the Secretariat for the Economy. Sydney Cardinal George Pell, a member of the Council of Cardinals, was appointed to lead that office.
The cardinals' group also previously advised Francis to set up a Vatican commission tasked with advising the pope on safeguarding children from sex abuse and working pastorally with abuse victims. That commission is to meet at for the first time Thursday through Saturday.
The Vatican's statement yesterday said the cardinals' group met on Monday with Joseph Zahra, the head of a separate office Francis established last July to study the Vatican's organisational and economic problems.
Pope-C8 meeting: Curia reform process will not be complete until 2015 (Vatican Insider)