Council of Cardinals: Development of the Synod’s Works

Highlighting ‘the Enthusiasm of the Episcopal Conferences and of the Laity’

Council of Cardinals
Pope Francis at the meeting of the Council of Cardinals, Sept. 21. 2021 © Vatican Media

The Council of Cardinals, which advises Pope Francis, met on December 13, 14, and 15 in Casa Santa Marta where they discussed the progress “of the Synod’s works,” stated a Holy See press release, published today, December 16, 2021.

“Reflecting on the current political and health situation, and the pandemic’s evolution, each Cardinal made a presentation on his region of origin,” pointed out the note. In fact, Cardinal Grech’s intervention focused on the development of the Synod’s works, taking stock of the path traveled up to now and highlighting the enthusiasm of the Episcopal Conferences and of the laity.”

The Holy Father, who was present the whole of Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon, contributed to the general reflection, offering his own reading of the topics presented.

Present at the meeting were Cardinals Pietro Parolin, Giuseppe Bertello, Oscar A. Rodriguez Maradiaga, Reinhard Marx, Sean Patrick O’Malley, Oswald Gracias, and Fridolin Ambongo Besungu. Attending, together with them, was the Council’s Secretary, Monsignor Marco Mellino. The meeting ended at 6:00 pm yesterday, December 15, 2021, and the Council postponed the next meeting until February of 2022.

The Council of Cardinals’ last meeting was on September 21, 2021, when the Pontiff spoke about “the opening of the works of the forthcoming Synod on Synodality.” The Pontiff “recalled two of his addresses, identified as central to his ideas on the next Synod — that of 2015, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the institution of the Synod of Bishops, and the most recent directed to the faithful of the diocese of Rome last Saturday –, and he specified that the center of the reflection isn’t so much reflecting further on this or that topic but the learning of a way of living the Church, marked at all levels by mutual listening and a pastoral attitude, especially in face of the temptations of clericalism and rigidity,” indicated the Holy See at that time.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester