The making of bishops

Council of Cardinals continues discussions on selection of Catholic bishops
Joshua J. McElwee 
The group of cardinals advising Pope Francis on reforming the Catholic church’s central bureaucracy spent time in their latest meeting discussing how Catholic bishops around the world are selected, the Vatican’s main spokesman said Wednesday.
Gregory Burke, the head of the Holy See press office, said the nine-member Council of Cardinals focused particularly on the role the Vatican’s various global ambassadors, known as apostolic nuncios, play in helping select new bishops.
“The cardinals reflected extensively on the spiritual and pastoral profile necessary for a bishop today,” Burke said in a statement following the cardinals’ meeting.
“They spoke of the diplomatic service of the Holy See and of the formation and duties of apostolic nuncios, with particular attention to their great responsibility in choosing candidates for the episcopacy,” Burke continued.
The Council, created by Francis to help him in reforming what is known as the Roman Curia, has been meeting with the pope in Rome Monday through Wednesday for the 16th of its in-person meetings.
The only American serving in the group is Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley. Apostolic nuncios are normally responsible for recommending to the pope three possible candidates to become leaders in Catholic dioceses that need bishops in the countries of their postings.
The Council of Cardinals is known to have previously discussed the selection of bishops around the world in their meeting held last April. Burke said the Council’s discussions at this week’s meeting “were dedicated in major part to further considerations about how the various dicasteries of the Curia may better serve the mission of the Church.”
The spokesman said the group spoke particularly about four Vatican offices: the Congregations for the Clergy, for the Bishops, and for Catholic Education; and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, head of the Congregation for Bishops, was present for one session of the meeting to speak about his congregation’s work, Burke said.
Australian Cardinal George Pell, head of the new centralized Secretariat of the Economy, also gave a presentation, as did O’Malley, who leads the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.The next meeting of the Council of Cardinals is set for Dec. 12-14.
[Joshua J. McElwee is NCR Vatican correspondent.]

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  1. The Pope’s Council of Cardinals (C9) was discussing the selection of bishops by Papal Nuncios this week. They seemed to be particularly concerned that the Papal Nuncios should be well trained for the role of selecting new bishops.
    I hope this report is totally inaccurate in order to allow the C9 to pursue the goal set by Pope Francis in October 2015: to change the organisational structure of our church into an INVERTED PYRAMID with the Pope at the bottom. This new structure would place the people of god at the top. A simple first step towards achieving Pope Francis’ INVERTED PYRAMID structure would be to revert to the tradition of each diocese ELECTING their own bishops.
    So the C9 have put up this silly smoke screen about training Papal Nuncios to allow them to develop the structure Pope Francis wants: an INVERTED PYRAMID. I await the announcement of the move to the new structures.

  2. Eddie Finnegan says:

    Colm Holmes@1,
    Have you or Francis ever really tried standing a pyramid on its apex? I’m sure Francis has broad shoulders, but . . . . . . .

  3. Eddie Finnegan @2
    Oh ye of little faith!
    It will be like the Berlin wall coming down. No one saw that coming.
    There is so much needs addressing in our church we need a new structure.
    Step 1: We elect our own bishops in each diocese.

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