Council of Cardinals finalizes draft of new document on Roman Curia

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis will review a finalized draft of the apostolic constitution that would govern the Roman Curia, the Vatican spokesman said.

The document, provisionally titled "Praedicate Evangelium" ("Preach the Gospel"), was reviewed by the international Council of Cardinals, and the draft will be "given to the Holy Father for the considerations he deems opportune, useful and necessary," said Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, June 13.

The title is still subject to change, and the pope may choose to share it with others to receive feedback, Burke said.

An early draft of the document was reviewed by Pope Francis and the council during their last meeting, April 23-25.

The draft document emphasizes four points: the Roman Curia is at the service of the pope and the local churches throughout the world; the work of the Curia must have a pastoral character; the new section in the Vatican Secretariat of State would oversee the training, assigning and ministry of Vatican nuncios and diplomats around the world; and the proclamation of the Gospel and a missionary spirit must characterize the activity of the Curia.

The Council of Cardinals, which met at the Vatican June 11-13, also released a seven-page report detailing work it has accomplished since its creation April 13, 2013.

After studying various proposals, analyses from Vatican offices, bishops' conferences, "the council will deliver to the Holy Father a first organic text of proposals in view of the preparation of a new apostolic constitution on the Roman Curia," the report stated.

The meeting in June was the 25th gathering of the council with the pope. Australian Cardinal George Pell has not been participating since returning to Australia for a series of court hearings to determine if he should stand trial on decades-old charges of child sexual abuse.

The other members of the council are: Cardinals Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state; Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Sean P. O'Malley of Boston; Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India; Francisco Errazuriz Ossa, retired archbishop of Santiago, Chile; Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany; Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo; and Giuseppe Bertello, president of the commission governing Vatican City State.

The next meeting of the Council of Cardinals is Sept. 10-12, Burke said.