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BY Edward Pentin
Pope Benedict XVI is to issue an Apostolic Letter motu proprio in the near future that transfers jurisdiction of seminaries from the Congregation for Catholic Education to the Congregation for the Clergy, and the competence of catechesis from the Congregation for the Clergy to the new Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.
The Holy Father announced the minor change in the Curia's administration today in remarks during the final session of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization, which closes with a Mass at St. Peter’s tomorrow. He also shared his reasons for calling a small Consistory at the end of November.
In his address in the Synod Hall, the Pope said he was “pleased to announce” his decision on the Curial change after reflecting during the context of the Synod. “Let us pray to the Lord to accompany the three dicasteries of the Roman Curia in their important missions, with the collaboration of the whole Church,” the Pope said.
He then passed on his “cordial greetings” to the six prelates whom he named as cardinals this week. One of the new cardinals is Milwaukee native Archbishop James Harvey, until now prefect of the Papal Household.
The Pope said he called this “little Consistory”, to take place Nov. 24th, to “complete the Consistory of February.” That Consistory was heavily weighted towards Europe, and Italy in particular.
Benedict XVI said the upcoming Consistory would take place “in the context of the new evangelization, with a gesture of the universality of the Church.” It shows the Church is for “all peoples, speaks in every language,” the Pope added. “It is always the Church of Pentecost, not the Church of one continent, but of the universal Church.”
“This was precisely my intention, to express this in this context, this universality of the Church,” the Pope said. “It is also a beautiful expression of this Synod. For me it was really uplifting, comforting and encouraging to see here a reflection of the universal Church with its suffering, threats, dangers and joys, experiences of the Lord's presence, even in difficult situations.”
The Pope continued: “We have heard how the Church even today grows, lives. I think, for example, about what we were told on Cambodia, where the Church has been born again, the faith; or even in Norway, and many others.” The Pope added that even where we least expect, the Lord is “present and powerful” and works also through our work and our reflections.
“Although the Church feels opposing winds, she feels especially the wind of the Holy Spirit that helps us, shows us the right way,” the Pope said. “And so, with renewed enthusiasm, it seems to me we are on our way, and we thank the Lord that he has given this truly Catholic meeting.”
The Pope closed by thanking all the participants for their “often very moving” testimonies. He made a particular point of thanking the Synod presidents and relators who worked day and night. “I always think it's a bit against the natural law to also work at night,” the Pope said, but added if they can do it voluntarily, it’s important to thank them “and feel grateful.”
Today the Vatican released a final list of 58 propositions, voted on by the Synod Fathers, and handed to the Pope.
Yesterday, the Synod participants issued a final message on the three week meeting.