By means of a Chirograph dated 28th September, 2013 and made public yesterday, 30th September, Pope Francis has constituted the group of 8 Cardinals he nominated in April as a Council of Cardinals which will be a continuing body advisory to himself. The Holy Father has reserved to himself the right to add to the Council should he see the need. The Council has no organic connection with any other part of the Church's governance structure.
Because of the Council of Cardinals' exclusive advisory role to the Pontiff, it will issue no reports/communiques at all. The Holy Father has charged it with the initial task of advising him on revision of arrangements under Blessed Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Constitution " Pastor Bonus" of 1968 which itself revised the structure and operation of the Roman Curia.He has also asked them to examine the revision of the Synodal procedures, which have not been found universally ideal.
Already the Cardinals have had individual meetings with the Holy Father and as many as 80 documents have been prepared and circulated to them for consideration. The Council of Cardinals will meet to-day for the first time, together with the Holy Father, to commence a three day conference - meeting for working sessions Morning and Evening. The Holy Father will attend all sessions except for Wednesday when he will attend his normal Public Audience and will miss at least part of the Morning Session.
It has been noted that The Council to some extent parallels structures within the Jesuit Order, of which the Holy Father is a member. Some had dared to hope that the Jesuit Pope might put in hand the reform of the Jesuit Order. Rather, the tide seems to some extent, to be flowing in the other direction.