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Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich (CNS/Felix Kindermann, courtesy COMECE)

Pope Francis has revamped his advisory body of cardinals by appointing five new members, including Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, one of the leaders of the global synod process. Source: The Tablet.

The council of cardinals was established by the Pope soon after his election to assist him in governing the Church.

It helped to produce a new constitution for the Roman Curia, published last year, and is intended to further the collegial governance of the Church by the Pope with the world’s bishops. 

Besides Cardinal Hollerich, who is the Archbishop of Luxembourg and president of the bishops’ conferences in the European Union, Francis has chosen four new members: Cardinal Juan José Omella of Barcelona, Cardinal Gerald Lacroix of Quebec, Cardinal Sergio da Rocha of São Salvador da Bahia in Brazil and the Spanish Cardinal Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, president of the governorate of Vatican City State. 

He has not reappointed the 69-year-old German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who has served on the council since its inception.

Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga and Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, the former president of the Vatican governorate, who have both reached the retirement age of 80, were also not reappointed.

The council has nine members. The new appointees join the Congolese Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo of Kinshasa, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay, Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See’s Secretary of State.

The new appointments show the Pope’s determination to push ahead with his reforms of the Church, to make it more synodal and missionary.

Cardinal Hollerich, a Jesuit, shares Francis’ vision and serves as the relator-general of the synod “for a Synodal Church” which will include two summits of the world’s bishops in the Vatican in October 2023 and October 2024.

The next meeting of the council of cardinals will take place on April 24. 


Pope appoints five cardinals to advisory council (By Christopher Lamb, The Tablet)