Pope calls all cardinals to Rome

Pope Benedict XVI has called all the members of the College of Cardinals to Rome for a meeting on the day before the March consistory at which he will elevate new members.

Catholic World News reports that when he announced the 24 March consistory, at his regular weekly public audience on Wednesday, the Holy Father mentioned that he would convene the cardinals for a day of "reflection and prayer" on the preceding day. The Pope's call for that meeting followed shortly after a 13 February session with the leaders of the Roman Curia.

During a private meeting with the world's cardinals, the Pope can seek opinions on particular proposals, and ask for open discussion of pastoral issues, using the prelates as a sounding board for his ideas. At the meeting on 23 March, Pope Benedict might, for instance, call for reaction to his plans for a reorganization of the Roman Curia, or for some new pastoral initiative.

The Vatican does not release public information about the Pope's meetings with his advisers. However, news leaks from the 13 February meeting indicated that the main topic was the effort to achieve a reconciliation with traditionalists of the Society of St Pius X. Reliable sources in the Vatican said that the discussion was to be resumed at a second meeting late in March - perhaps just before the arrival of the world's cardinals. So a plan for reconciliation could be on the agenda when the Pope convenes the cardinals on 23 March.

Pope, cardinals to confer before March 24 ceremony (Catholic World News 23/2/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

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24 Feb 2006