The cardinals have been working on drafting and revising the text since 2014, soliciting feedback from bishops’ conferences last year. An updated draft was presented to Pope Francis this summer and suggestions from Vatican departments are being evaluated. But the Vatican has given no projected date for the constitution’s publication.
In October, the pope named a new member of the council, Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The 60-year-old Capuchin has led the archdiocese, which comprises more than six million Catholics, since 2018.
During the council’s latest meeting, Pope Francis spoke briefly, Cardinal Besungu was introduced, and cardinals gave updates on the life of the Church on their continents, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Vatican statement said.
Bishop Marco Mellino, the council’s secretary, offered a summary of work on the constitution thus far.
In addition to Besungu, the other cardinal members of the council are Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State; Seán O’Malley, archbishop of Boston; Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay; Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa; Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising; and Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of the Vatican City State.
The council’s next meeting is scheduled for February 2021.
Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.
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