Lay Vatican leadership reportedly key topic at pope’s meeting with world’s cardinals

Christopher White, National Catholic Reporter:

ROME — While an official communique at the end of Pope Francis’ Aug. 29-30 meeting with the world’s Catholic cardinals only said that participants “freely discussed many aspects,” participants told NCR that discussions centered around the extent to which lay individuals can be granted authority in church governance, term limits for Vatican officials, and the city-state’s finances.

While the gathering took place behind closed doors, participants from four different continents said in interviews that much of the meeting took place in small group discussions, similar to the format used at Vatican meetings of the Synod of Bishops. That and other information was confirmed to NCR by at least two sources who attended the meeting.

The formal list of participants, which was also obtained by NCR, included 197 listed participants, including cardinals, patriarchs and officials from the Vatican’s Secretariat of State. 

Participants were divided into a total of 12 language groups (four in English, four in Italian, two in French and two in Spanish), with U.S. cardinals Timothy Dolan of New York and Wilton Gregory of Washington serving as spokespersons for two of the English-language groups. 

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