Pope Francis has recently designated five new members to his council of cardinals advisers. This council of cardinals is responsible for assisting the Pope in governing the universal church.

The Vatican announced on March 7, and among the newly appointed cardinals were Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, who had organized the Synod, and Cardinal Gérald C. Lacroix from Canada. The council now consists of nine members, and its primary duty is to advise the Pope on matters of significance concerning the Catholic Church.

New Faces of the Inner Circle of Advisers

On March 7th, the Vatican announced the appointment of five new members to Pope Francis' council of cardinals advisers, including Brazilian Cardinal Sérgio da Rocha, Spanish Cardinal Juan José Omella Omella, and Cardinal Fernando Vérgez Alzaga. According to Catholic News Agency, the new members replace Honduran Cardinal óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga and German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who are no longer council members.

The council, also known as the C9, was established in 2013 to advise Pope Francis on reforming the Roman Curia. Its nine members continued to meet after publishing the new apostolic constitution, Praedicate evangelium, last year. At the council's last meeting in December, members discussed the Synod on Synodality and the work of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. The council's primary role is to advise the Pope on matters of significance concerning the Catholic Church.

To advise him on the direction of the entire church and to research a strategy for reforming the Roman Curia, Pope Francis established the group of cardinals in April 2013. According to Catholics UN, the group occasionally meets annually and includes individuals from diverse regions to offer the Pope another expression of episcopal unity.

The council's main objective is to assist the Pope in important decisions he must make for the Catholic Church. The church's response to child abuse, financial reform, the Holy See's economic concerns, and important events like the synod on synodality and the war in Ukraine have all been discussed.

The council's former members include the late Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, retired archbishop of Santiago, Chile, and the late Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo. In March 2022, the council released the apostolic constitution "Praedicate Evangelium" to reform the Roman Curia.

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Who Exactly are the New Five Members of Advisers of Pope Francis?

To further understand and know the newly appointed advisers, another source, Washington Post, reported that Pope Francis' designated five new members to his Council of Cardinals, includes Cardinal Sérgio da Rocha from Brazil, Cardinal Juan José Omella Omella from Spain, Cardinal Fernando Vergez Alzaga from Vatican City State, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich from Luxembourg, and Cardinal Gérald C. Lacroix from Quebec.

The council includes important Holy See officials, Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Cardinal Fernando Vergez, and renewed members Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, and Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley. The Council of Cardinals advises the Pope on important decisions and reforms in the Roman Curia. The cardinals meet every few months at the Vatican for two or three days.

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