Today, the Holy
See hosted a day of prayer and reflection--called for by the Pope
himself--during which the Cardinals asked the Holy Father how they
could assist him in his mission as shepherd of the Church.
As the meeting
commenced in the Vatican‘s Synod Hall, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who is
dean of the College of Cardinals, thanked the Holy Father on behalf of
all those present for having called them to this day of prayer. He
called it an encouragement "to joint action more in keeping with the
pastoral challenges of the present time".
He stressed that today’s meeting "shows the importance Your Holiness attributes to the College of Cardinals.”
“For our part,” he said in response, “we undertake to abide by the mission the Church expects from us".
entire gathered body, Cardinal Sodano reflected that the cardinals help
in the mission of the Pope "both when gathered collegially, and when
acting individually within the Roman Curia".
In this light,
he highlighted what he called the “complementarity” between the two
consultative bodies which the Church places at the disposal of the
Pontiff. Namely, these are the Synod, created after Vatican Council II,
and the College of Cardinals itself.
concluded by asking Pope Benedict to inform the College “of the themes
upon which you wish to hear our opinion and to take counsel.”
“As dean,” he
said, “it is also my honor to extend to you the devoted greetings of
all members of the College of Cardinals who are absent because of
urgent appointments or through reasons of health - such as Cardinal
Bernardin Gantin, dean emeritus - and who are present in spirit".
The Vatican said
that during today’s meeting, there will be free discussions among the
participants, following a format similar to the Cardinal’s gathering
last year prior to the papal conclave. Those were led by Cardinal
Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict.
15 men from around the world will become Cardinals tomorrow including 2 from the U.S.
of the College of Cardinals have gathered in the Vatican in advance of
Friday’s Ordinary Public Consistory in which Pope Benedict XVI will
create the first new cardinals of his pontificate.