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Rome Reports

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Could the next Vatican ambassadors be laypeople?

Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Honduras revealed new details about the preparations behind the new apostolic constitution. 

He said that the drafting process prompted deep reflection on essential questions, such as what the role of a cardinal is.

Coordinator, Council of Cardinals
There is no reason for all the dicasteries to be headed by a cardinal or a bishop. They can also be directed by a laywoman, by a layman or simply by a religious man or woman. This is not populism either. No. It means identifying that the vocation of a cardinal is to be an advisor to the Pope.

Yet the Cardinal says there are still many other issues left to be considered, such as the role of Vatican ambassadors, known as nuncios.

Coordinator, Council of Cardinals
The question arises, is it necessary that they [nuncios] be a member of the clergy? Or can it also be a layperson? That's an issue that remains unresolved.

The coordiantor of the Council of Cardinals says among the questions still on the table is the role of bishops' conferences worldwide. 

Coordinator, Council of Cardinals
It's another point that still has to be discussed, and there is a tendency to think bishops' conferences should be more involved. These are points that are still being developed and need to be clarified.

Cardinal Maradiaga shared his reflections during the presentation of a new book in Rome, titled “Praedicate Evangelium: A new Curia for a new age.”

It is a book interview that the journalist and priest Fernando Prado conducted with the cardinal who coordinated the team that helped Pope Francis draft the new apostolic constitution.