The synod on the family will not open until Oct. 5, but some of its members are already debating one of its most controversial topics.
Council of Cardinals
The series of discussions have now begun a more "concrete" phase with "putting ink on paper" in the form of a draft for the introduction to a new constitution.
Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals continue to study the most effective and efficient way to organize the Roman Curia, a large bureaucracy with a long history of expansions and a few, short-term, attempts at consolidation.
Seven months after hiring a consulting firm to study the Vatican's communications structures, the Vatican has set up an 11-member committee -- which includes Our Sunday Visitor's Greg Erlandson -- to suggest ways to increase collaboration and cut costs.
Australian Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy and a member of Pope Francis' Council of Cardinals, announced the formation of the committee at a news conference Wednesday.
One thing the pope and his Council of Cardinals discussed was how bishops currently are chosen for dioceses around the world.
The Council of Cardinals will meet again this week, presumably to consider an overall blueprint for a new structure of the Vatican's central bureaucracy.
In its previous meetings, the Council of Cardinals has reviewed the work of Vatican congregations. The council will now shift its attention to studying the Vatican's 12 pontifical councils.
Pope Francis' Council of Cardinals will meet with him for the fourth time next week, but what they'll discuss remains unknown.
We say: It's tempting to look at news about sex abuse and church finances and conclude that the system is broken. In reality, it's the clerical system that's broken.
Pope Francis, accepting the recommendations of his international Council of Cardinals and other advisory groups, has decided the Vatican bank will continue to exist and has approved a plan to increase its transparency and accountability.
The Vatican press office issued a statement Monday saying the pope "has approved a proposal on the future" of the Institute for the Works of Religion, the formal title of the bank. The Vatican, however, did not release details of the proposal.