The Council of Cardinals reconvened as planned on Tuesday morning, 1 July at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, and deferred some of the business to Wednesday morning, 2 July, according to Fr Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office. Pope Francis is participating in the series of meetings, and was present all of Wednesday, as the General Audience has been suspended like every summer. Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin is regularly present at the meetings, and the Holy Father has established that he will participate fully like the other members of the Council, of whom at present there are nine.
Three main themes were considered by the Council. There was a presentation by Cardinal Bertello on matters relating to the Governorate, and a presentation relating to the Secretariat of State by Cardinal Parolin. The issue of the structure of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) was discussed in depth. The meetings, held in two sessions, were also attended by members of the Supervisory Commission of Cardinals present in Rome, Cardinals Santos Abril y Castelló, Thomas Collins and Jean-Louis Tauran, as well as Pietro Parolin.
With regard to the news and questions circulating in the press in recent days, the Director of the Holy See Press Office made the following declaration: “The IOR is in a time of natural and peaceful transition. The contribution of Ernst von Freyberg continues to be deeply appreciated and highly valued, and further clarifications are possible, indeed likely, next week after the meeting of the Council for the Economy on Saturday”.
The Director, Fr Lombardi, then gave a concise explanation of the agenda for the next meeting of the Council for the Economy, which will focus on the Statutes and the plan for future work, and will be informed on developments relating to the IOR and, by the Prefecture for Economic Affairs, on the 2013 budget and the provisional budget for 2014.The Director also announced that a major press conference is expected to be held next week on various matters, including the IOR, linked to the sphere of competence of the Council and the Secretariat for the Economy. The Council is now continuing its meetings, again taking into consideration and systematically developing the reflections already formulated in the first round of study and review of the different bodies of the Roman Curia.
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