The Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney is widely regarded as being very conservative and insensitive to many intimate pastoral issues. The man does have another compassionate side that is evidenced as he goes about his pastoral work in Visitations to parishes in the archdiocese. We experienced such a man at St Canice’s in 2009.

In addition to presiding at Mass, Cardinal ‘George’ showed us a very personal and compassionate side. In addition to chatting and sharing a meal with parishioners, the Cardinal visited the aged in the many nursing homes in the area, and sat with asylum seekers and the needy to hear their stories.

We wish him well in his responsibilities on the new Consultative Committee set up by Pope Francis, and pray that his experiences here at St Canice’s in the ways of the Jesuits will stand him in good stead.
A Parishioner

Vatican City, 13 April 2013 (VIS) — Following is the full text of a communique issued today by the Secretariat of State.

“The Holy Father Francis, taking up a suggestion that emerged during the General Congregations preceding the Conclave, has established a group of cardinals to advise him in the government of the universal Church and to study a plan for revising the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, ‘Pastor Bonus’.

The group consists of:
Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State;

Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop emeritus of Santiago de Chile, Chile;

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, India;

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany;

Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo;

Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley O.F.M., archbishop of Boston, USA;

Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia;

Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, S.D.B., archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in the role of coordinator; and

Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Italy, in the role of secretary.

The group’s first meeting has been scheduled for 1-3 October 2013. His Holiness is, however, currently in contact with the aforementioned cardinals.”

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said that the group shows that the Pope wishes to implement the suggestions made by the College of Cardinals in preparation for the Conclave. He stressed it is not a council, board or commission to take decisions but rather will act as a consultative body. He also pointed out that the eight cardinals represent all five continents.