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Synod Hall
Thursday, 12 February 2015


Dear Brothers,

How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” (Ps 133[132]:1).

With the words of the Psalm let us praise the Lord who has convoked us and gives us the grace to welcome 20 new Cardinals to this assembly. To them and to all I address my cordial greeting. Welcome to this communion, which is expressed in collegiality.

Thank you to all those who organized this event, in particular to Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals. I thank the Council of nine Cardinals and Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, coordinator. I also thank Bishop Marcello Semeraro, Secretary of the Council of nine Cardinals: it is he who today is presenting the synthesis of the work carried out in these last months to develop a new Apostolic Constitution for the reform of the Curia. As we know, this synthesis was prepared on the basis of many recommendations, also on behalf of the heads and officers of the Dicasteries, as well as experts in the matters.

The goal to be reached is always that of fostering greater harmony in the work of the various Dicasteries and Offices, in order to establish more effective cooperation in the absolute transparency which edifies authentic synodality and collegiality.

Reform is not an end in itself, but a means to bear a stronger Christian testimony; to favour a more effective evangelization; to promote a more fruitful ecumenical spirit; to encourage a more constructive dialogue with all. The reform, actively sought by most Cardinals in the context of the general Congregations before the Conclave, will still have to further refine the identity of the Roman Curia itself, in other words that of assisting Peter’s Successor in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office for the good and the service of the Universal Church and the Particular Churches. It is an exercise with which the unity of faith and the communion of the People of God are strengthened and the very mission of the Church in the world is advanced.

It is certainly not easy to reach such a goal: it requires time, determination and above all the cooperation of everyone. But to realize this we must first of all entrust ourselves to the Holy Spirit, who is the true guide of the Church, imploring in prayer the gift of authentic discernment.

With this spirit of cooperation our meeting begins. It will be fruitful thanks to the contribution that each of us will be able to express with parrhesia, faithfulness to the Magisterium and the knowledge that all of this contributes to the supreme law, or the salus animarum. Thank you.

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