Pope Francis met with the group of eight cardinals advising him on the reform of the Roman Curia and the government of the Church this morning, initiating the council's second meeting.

"The meeting began this morning continuing the look at the Roman Curia with a view to its reform, as requested by the cardinals prior to the conclave," Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See press office, said at a briefing of journalists.

This second meeting, lasting Dec. 3-5 and conducted at Casa Santa Marta, follows an initial meeting held Oct. 1-3.

Between their meetings, the eight cardinals sought input from other bishops, "collecting many proposals" particularly at meetings of their national bishops' conferences. While there is a certain distribution of tasks among the eight, given their background and experience, each has a full share in the "common responsibility" of the council's decision making.

The Roman Curia is currently ordered by "Pastor bonus," the apostolic constitution issued by Bl. John Paul II in 1988 which regulates and defines the charges, duties and composition of the offices of the curia.

Fr. Lombardi explained at the briefing that the council's work is "not to make simple changes or marginal modifications to 'Pastor bonus'," but it will instead "prepare … in short, a new Constitution."

This month's meeting of the council "began with a reflection on the dicasteries," he said, starting with the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Pope Francis will be attending all the council's sessions this round except for Wednesday mornings, as he willbe  holding his General Audience.

The cardinals plan to meet with Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the secretary of state, but will not be able to meet with contacts in the economic sphere.

That meeting with representatives of the Vatican's economic concerns is likely to take place at the council's third meeting, to be held Feb. 17-18, 2014, shortly before the next cardinals' consistory, to occur Feb. 22.