Pope Francis sets up a group of eight cardinals to advise him and Mumbai Definition of Universal Church

Pope Francis sets up a group of eight cardinals to advise him

Rss Feed Twitter Facebook Print


Francis has taken a most significant decision by setting up a group of eight cardinals from all continents to advise him in governing the Catholic Church and reforming the Roman Curia

gerard o’connell
vatican city

In a highly significant and ground-breaking move, indicating a new, more collegial style of leadership, Pope Francis has chosen a group of eight cardinals, from all continents and the Roman Curia, to act as his special advisors in governing the Catholic Church and reforming the Roman Curia.

The Secretariat of State broke the news in a press statement on April 13, exactly one month after his election.  It said “The Holy Father, Francis, taking up a suggestion that emerged in the course of the General Congregations preceding the Conclave, has set up a group of Cardinals to advise him in the government of the universal Church and to study a project of revision of the Apostolic Constitution “Pastor Bonus” on the Roman Curia”.

The Apostolic Constitution “Pastor Bonus”  referred to in the Vatican statement was issued by Pope John Paul II in 1988 and introduced reforms in the Roman Curia, the civil service that assists the Pope in the government of the Church.

The Vatican revealed the names of the eight cardinals chosen by Pope Francis:

  • AFRICA: Cardinal Laurent Monswengo Pasinya, 73, archbishop of Kinshasha in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, former president of SECAM – the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (1997-2003) and co-president of Pax Christi International (2007-2009);
  • ASIA: Cardinal Oswald Gracias, 68, archbishop of Bombay, India, the current President of the FABC, the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences;
  • EUROPE:  Cardinal Reinhard Marx, 69,  Archbishop of Munich and Freising, in the Federal Republic of Germany; Since 2012 he has been president of  COMECE – the Bishops Conferences of the European Community;
  • LATIN AMERICA:  Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, 79, emeritus Archbishop of Santiago de Cile, Chile, he was president of  CELAM – the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Latin America ( 2003-2007);
  • NORTH AMERICA: Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, OFM, 66,   archbishop of Boston, US Bishops Conference;
  • OCEANIA: Cardinal George Pell, 71, the archbishop of Sydney, Australia;
  • ROMAN CURIA: Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, 70, the Italian-born Holy See diplomat and currently President of the Governorate of the Vatican City State;
  • COORDINATOR: Cardinal  Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, S.D.B.,70, archbishop of Tegucigapla, Honduras, will coordinate the Group..
  • SECRETARY: Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano diocese, Italy, will serve as the secretary of the group.

In the pre-conclave meetings, several cardinals spoke about the challenges the new pope would face in governing the Catholic Church and reforming the Roman Curia. Some suggested that it would be good if the new pope could develop a more collegial system of government by involving members of the College of Cardinals or of the Bishops Conferences to assist him in the monumental task of governance.  Pope Francis listened carefully and has taken the decision to establish a group of eight to act as his counselors.

Pope Francis is a man of government. He knows how to take decisions, as his performance as Jesuit superior and later archbishop bishop in Argentina has shown.  Now he brings that skill to the Vatican, where it is much needed.

An analysis of the eight cardinals chosen shows that seven have wide pastoral experience in governing dioceses and one is an experienced Holy See diplomat; they bring with them a rich and diverse field experience. They are not all like-minded men, and that too is a point in his favor. As in Buenos Aires, so too in Rome, he does not want to surround himself with ‘Yes’ men, he wants to avoid the ‘Groupthink” syndrome. He wants advisors who will tell him the truth, not simply tell him the things that they think or imagine he wants to hear. He wishes to listen to different points of view, so that he can reach good decisions for the benefit of the whole Church and of the wider world that it is called to serve.

Pope Francis is already in contact with the cardinals, and the Group will meet for the first time on October 1-3, the Vatican said.


Mumbai Definition of  Universal Church

Can divisions be made among the  Churches?

Can information be denied to a person merely on the ground that he is not a parishioner?

Do we really believe in a Universal Church?

Read the below attached mails and judge for yourself.

E-Mail Received From the Cardinal on 20/10/10 along with attachment dated 13/10/10
October 13, 2010

Dear Mr. Sodder,

This has reference to your e-mail of October 1, 2010.

Perhaps the Parish Priest, Fr. Aniceto Pereira, of Our Lady of Salvation Church, Dadar, has not replied to you because you do not belong to his parish.

With kind regards and best wishes,

Yours sincerely in Christ,

 Cardinal Oswald Gracias
Archbishop of Bombay

Mr. A. M. Sodder

Mail sent by A.M.Sodder to Cardinal Oswald Gracias
Email sent on 21/October/2010
Your Eminence,

I am in receipt of the below attached mail and i wish to reply as under:

Perhaps the words in “I believe” will have to be changed from “the holy catholic church” to ” the holy catholic Churches” as per Fr.Aniceto Pereira.

Perhaps the guidelines given for flats by the archdiocese that all catholics of the the archdiocese shall be eligible , will have to be changed to only catholics of that parish as per his thinking.

Perhaps Fr.Aniceto fells that all the money given to Our Lady of Salvation Church Dadar by catholics who were not parishoners should have not been taken.

Perhaps Fr.Aniceto fells that all the money given to Our Lady of Salvation Church Dadar by catholics who were ex-parishoners of the said Church and who have now settled in different parts of Mumbai and Thane will now be returned.

Perhaps Fr.Aniceto feels that the transparency which was spoken of in the Examiner of June 2010 is meant to mean only for the Catholics of that parish.

Perhaps Fr.Aniceto feels that when parishoners from other parishes come to collect money for any worthy cause they should not be allowed.

Perhaps Fr.Aniceto feels that he will get a life long posting in Our Lady of Salvation Church Dadar.

Perhaps Fr.Aniceto has forgotten that all catholics irrespective of where they stay are benefactors of Trust.

Perhaps he has forgotten that the trustees are mere custodians and the laity of Mumbai and Thane are the true owners and beneficiaries of the said trust and considering that the persons in power are transparent and have nothing to hide it would be in the interest of justice and fair play that the said information is given to me on an urgent basis unless something has to be hidden.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,



About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
This entry was posted in Silenced Voice. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Pope Francis sets up a group of eight cardinals to advise him and Mumbai Definition of Universal Church

  1. AllanLamb says:

    https://mumbailaity.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/pope-should-be-thick-skinned-cardinal-oswald-gracias/ (March 19, 2013)

    In the above article is this the advice of Cardinal Oswald Gracias to the present Pope:
    “I will look for a pope who is spiritual, intelligent, compassionate and courageous in worldly matters as well. His is a tough job that invites criticism so he should be thick-skinned,”

    I think, the present Pope has taken the advice of Cardinal Gracias seriously and in order to grow in it he has appointed him to the G-8

    Anyway, we in Mumbai see in this appointment the joke of the century.

    How people in order for power and positions and to hide their own weaknesses, visibly seen in the way the Archdiocese is administered, will go to any extent to promote themselves to men in positions and power.

    God save the Church!

  2. Francis S. Lobo says:

    This is the comments from Fr. John Zuhlsdorf blog


    solideopileolus says:
    14 April 2013 at 5:20 am

    Cardinal Gracias is my metropolitan and is well-spoken and holds a doctorate in Canon Law. The Archdiocese of Bombay however is awash with accusations of financial misdemeanor/mismanagement even amounting to fraud. The clergy here are wholly into inculturation and New Age practices such as vipassana meditation, yoga, naturopathy and crystal healing. Indifferentism, modernism and syncretism rule the roost here. I’ve heard cringe-worthy sermons at the largest parish in the Archdiocese openly advocating women’s ordination to a congregation numbering in the thousands, from the parish priest none-the-less. The EF is unknown to nearly everyone; even the parish offices I’ve called to enquire whether the EF was being offered haven’t seemed to have heard of it. Cardinal Gracias allows all of this to continue unchallenged. His reason for not implementing SP? Not enough interest shown by the laity. So far I haven’t heard a single sound-bite from him in defense of true orthodoxy and orthopraxis. I’m not optimistic in the least.


  3. Ralph Coelho Yahoo says:

    Reflects modern management. Very good. Except that Pastoral acre, feeding the sheep , is not management, not getting the best outcome for the leader. However, on the other side I remember reading His own thoughts somewhere. He aid that he listens to all the advice but he knows that in the end he has to take the decision on his own. That is when he consults God.

    Reminiscent of the cast days of Jesus tat w recently commemorated?

  4. As I have said before this is a mistake which Pope Francis has to rectify before the Catholics of Bombay rise in revolt. Oswald Gracias is blind and deaf, and by his own admission THICK SKINNED; this is a reversal of all we had hoped for from Pope Francis. The Holy Spirit is surely not the guiding force for this decision; it will be like going from the sink into the sewer

  5. Charmaine Bocarro says:

    It is an unfortunate choice. One has to see the record of the Cardinal and it would be apparent. Not a single statement taking a stand on national level. No stand of the Christian community put forthto the nation at large. No time given for appointments in person. In an important issue in St. Paul’s Parish Dadar with reference to the Parish Council no decision given in an appeal, while the Parish Priest has gone ahead and replaced the head of the Parish Council. No prompt decisions are taken where they matter, giving the Parish Priests time to get away with in subordination. Decisions of vital importance are given after work has been tacitly allowed to be done. No issues of the local church are addressed. The list goes on…. Could we see the Cardinal take a stand on issues that plague the Universal Church today? Not even remotely possible. Someone with foresight, fearlessness and fortitude was needed. A wrong choice by the Holy Father!

    • Eugene Pinto says:

      Luke 6:37 says Judge not and you will not be judged. and again with the woman who was found committing adultery John 8 : 7 Let who is without sin cast the first stone.
      With that being said we have to trust in the words of our Lord and Saviour in Matthew 16: 17-19 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock[a] I will build my church, and the gates of hell[b] shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[c] in heaven.
      It May not seem to be right but Jesus is the head of the Church and we have to take his word for it not what I believe to be right.

      English Standard Version (ESV)

  6. peter says:

    maybe the cardinal is gonna groom & advice the pope to be like himself & most politicians- thickskinned. hope the pope takes the advice with a pinch of salt.

  7. Jimmie Ferriera says:

    Twitter the Holy Father, he must know what evil lies behind those red robes!

  8. Pope Francis is turning out to be a rather complex reformer, first appointing reformers to a committee on the Curia and then reaffirming the last pope’s rebuke of the American nuns’ group. In http://deligentia.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/pope-francis-a-reformer/, I argue that the pope is a reformer (and outsider) only in a narrow sense. That the traditionalists have borrowed the term “reformer” makes the matter more complex though stil explainable.

  9. Pope Francis, I believe you have made a big error in the appointment of Cardinal Oswald Gracias from Asia, India-Mumbai to you inner circle. We the laity from Mumbai feel you need to review your choice and find out more before you can finally confirm. In fact I have lost faith in your inner circle in case he continues to be retained. Of course the Apostolic Nuncio at new delhi and he as supposed to be close friends yet this friendship does not work in administration and you close confidants. Please rethink

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s