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Secretary of Council of Cardinals: A lay prefect was "not an improvised decision"

The most recent draft of the new Apostolic Constitution on the Curia's organization is being studied in depth from, both a canonical and stylistic perspective. It is likely to be subject to a new revision by the cardinals.

This was explained by the secretary of the Council of Cardinals, Marcello Semeraro. He further explained it during the magisterial lecture at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome in November. 

Secretary, Council of Cardinals

"It is foreseeable that after the text has been delivered, another round of consultations will take place discussing what the Council of Cardinals is proposing. The same thing happened with the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus.”

The new constitution has a provisional name: 'Preach the Gospel.' It is an important update to the norm regulating the Curia's function and some aspects of Church governance. The previous version is the "Pastor Bonus," written 30 years ago by John Paul II.

Marcello Semeraro said this new constitution tries to adapt the missionary spirit that Francis proposed from the beginning of his pontificate: a Church-field hospital that would gather the wounded caused by a troubled era.

July 28, 2013

“This change in time, I was talking about it yesterday with the Brazilian Bishops, right now, we're living a time period that's full of wounds. People who partially left the Church, left and then came back. It's easy to think, 'well, we have to do develop a course about this and that', but no...after a battle, the first priority is to heal wounds.”

The constitution will seek to reflect several key aspects of the Second Vatican Council: avoiding excessive centralism and rediscovering the role of the laity. Msgr. Semeraro recalled that the appointment of a lay person as prefect of the Secretariat for Communication was no coincidence. 

Secretary, Council of Cardinals

“It is not an improvised decision. What's more, it has been thought out with the help of people who are competent in legal and theological matters.”

The next meeting of the Council of Cardinals will be Dec. 10-12. In addition to the revision of the constitution, another topic up for discussion is the renewal of some of its members who are already over 75 years old.