Rorate Caeli

A Permanent Synod and Expanded Council of Cardinals for the Catholic Church?

The Servizio Informazione Religiosa (SIR) published an interview last Friday with Bishop Franghískos Papamanólis, the President of the Greek Episcopal Conference, that made its ad limina visit last week. Most of the interview is about the political and economic situation of Greece and the state of Catholicism (which is almost entirely of the Roman Rite) in that country, but towards the end touches on the ongoing reform of the Curia and Francis' push for 'synodality' in the Church. (The following translation of the final portion of the interview is courtesy of a theology professor and friend of this blog.)

The meeting with the Holy Father lasted an hour and 25 minutes. What else did you talk about?

“Ecumenism is close to the heart of the Pope and he suffers much because its importance is not being fully understood. I believe that the first thing to do would be to purify the structures in a way so that a right way of believing corresponds to the right way of operating. Even in the Catholic Church there are many things to correct and the Pope understands this well. To purify the structures is that which the Holy Father would want to do with the reform of the Curia. Many traditionalists within it, who are the expression of strong and powerful churches, do not understand the conditions in which the Catholic Church struggles in many nations of the world. Go and talk to the bishops of other Continents and listen to the things that they would say to you . . .” 

First, you cited the reform of the Curia, have you and the Pope spoken about it and in what terms? 

"We have spoken to the Pope of synodality, of a permanent Synod. How to do this should be studied, and it is here that the experience of the permanent Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church could be of help in understanding. How to render permanent the Commission of Eight Cardinals should be studied, expanding it before anything else (ampliandola innanzitutto). The reform of the Curia is not able to limit itself to increasing or diminishing the dicasteries, or replacing personnel.  The true reform of the Curia is the purification of its structures."