Among the suggestions appearing in the course of the General Congregations of Cardinals preceding the Conclave was the convenience of establishing a small group of members of the Episcopate from the different parts of the world that the Holy Father could consult, individually or collectively, on particular matters. Once elected to the Roman See, I have had the occasion of reflecting often on this matter, believing that such an initiative would be of notable aid for carrying out the pastoral ministry of the Successor of Peter that the brothers Cardinals had wished to entrust me.
For this reason, on the past April 13, I announced the constitution of the aforementioned group, indicating at the same time the names of those who were called to take part in it. Now, upon mature reflection, I consider appropriate that this group, by way of the present Chirograph, be instituted as a “Council of Cardinals”, with the competence of aiding me in the government of the universal Church and to study a project of revision of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus on the Roman Curia. It will be composed of the same persons indicated before, which may be consulted, as Council or individually, on the maters that I consider from time to time worthy of attention. The aforesaid Council, whose number of components I reserve the right to configurate in the manner that will prove to be more adequate, will be an ulterior expression of the episcopal communion and of the aid to the munus petrinum that the Episcopate spread throughout the world may offer.”