The summit of cardinals that will mark the future of the Church begins in the Vatican

Pope Francis. / ef

Although the objective of the meeting is to analyze the reform of the Curia, the meeting will also serve to prepare the ground for the possible election of a new Pope

A similar atmosphere had not been experienced in the Vatican since February 2019, when the summit on ecclesial pedophilia was held, which brought together the presidents of the episcopates from all over the world. The appointment in this case has similar importance: the future of the Catholic Church is also at stake when analyzing the reform of the Roman Curia promoted by the Pope. That is the objective that has gathered these days in Rome about 200 cardinals (out of a total of 226), who began this Monday two days of meetings with which they study how to bring the spirit of the new constitution to the dioceses and parishes. apostolic with which Francis has reorganized the Holy See, entitled 'Praedicate Evangelium' and which entered into force last June. This text aims for the Church to strip itself of the temptations of power and impositions and focus on what is, ultimately, its only reason for being: to evangelize.

The cardinal summit, which concludes this Tuesday with a mass in the Vatican's St. Peter's Basilica, offers the cardinals a unique opportunity to prepare the ground for the moment when they have to elect a new Pope. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who will turn 86 in December, has assured that "for the moment" he has no intention of resigning from the pontificate, but events have occurred that lead to speculation about his hypothetical departure. Added to the unusual summit of these days is the consistory last Saturday, the first in memory in August, and the visit he made to L'Aquila on Sunday to pray in front of the tomb of Celestino V, the Pope who passed to the history for abandoning the pontifical throne in 1294.

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The Paraguayan Adalberto Martínez Flores, one of the 20 new cardinals created by Francis in the consistory, acknowledged at the end of the first round of meetings that the cardinal's summit can be interpreted "as a pre-conclave", showing his desire "that let's have a lot of time with the Pope». The participants met in linguistic groups in which they analyzed the reform of the Curia launched with 'Praedicate Evangelium' and also took the opportunity "to introduce ourselves and get to know each other," said Martínez Flores. The Honduran Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa and coordinator of the Council of Cardinals, the group of cardinals who advise Francis on the reform and government of the Church, stressed for his part that the apostolic constitution "is not just a canonical text », so that in this first round of meetings the importance of «taking this new spirit to the diocesan curiae» was discussed.

Cardinal Juan José Omella, archbishop of Barcelona and president of the Episcopal Conference of our country, was also part of one of the two Spanish-language working groups, who assured that there was "much harmony" in the interventions of the cardinals regarding " the line of the Pope». Although he called the interpretations of the summit "things of journalists" as if it were a pre-conclave, Omella recognized that the appointment of these days is very useful to "strengthen ties between Churches that are distant, but that we need each other to contribute reflection, economic aid and staff."

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