ROME – Pope Francis’ reform of the Roman Curia highlights the importance of episcopal conferences, particularly in fostering communion among bishops themselves and with the pope, a bishop has said.
The missionary nature and mandate of the Church “are the backbone” of the apostolic constitution, “Praedicate Evangelium” (“Preach the Gospel”), said Bishop Marco Mellino, secretary of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinals, to heads of Curia offices at a meeting on May 9.
The long text of the bishop’s speech to the group was published in the Vatican newspaper the same day.
With mission at the heart of its work, the newly organized Roman Curia is positioned to contribute to “the work of evangelization of the Church in its own way,” he said.
Mellino outlined what he called the “guiding principles” of the new constitution, such as: the curia as a service body; the use of synodality within the Curia and throughout the Church; co-responsibility and collegiality; spirituality and professionalism; and the role of the laity and episcopal conferences.
The intention of the constitution, he wrote, is to promote episcopal conferences and regional and continental councils or assemblies “in their potential for bringing into action the communion of bishops among themselves and with the Roman Pontiff.”
These numerous organs, with their own nature and characteristics, are “a valuable instrument which contributes, in a diversified and fruitful way, to the realization of collegial affection between the members of the same episcopate and provides for the common good of the particular Churches. , ”wrote the bishop.
This is done by “the concerted and united work of their respective shepherds, an expression of close collaboration and a sign of the need for a harmony of forces”, which results from a mutual use of “prudence and experience for the good “. of the whole Church,” he wrote.