“Naturally the Holy Father will, over coming days, will continue his discussions and reflections, also taking advantage of the fact that many pastors have come to Rome for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told the media June 24.
He added that the global gathering, which will see 44 archbishops receive their palliums at a June 29 ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica, will provide “an extraordinary opportunity for the community of the universal Church to feel united to the Pope in prayer, service, and the witness of faith for mankind in our time.”
On the morning of Saturday, June 23, Pope Benedict met collectively with the heads of every Vatican department. In recent months the administration of the Curia has been shaken by the continued leakage of confidential papal information to the media, the so-called “Vati-leaks” scandal.
Fr. Lombardi said that Pope Benedict called for the meeting because he wanted to “deepen his knowledge of the situation through continuous dialogue with those people who share with him the responsibility for governing the Church.”
He added that the meeting was “particularly important and urgent today in order to bear effective witness to the spirit of union which animates” the Roman Curia.
In the afternoon, Pope Benedict held an additional meeting with five senior figures from the Sacred College of Cardinals: Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue; Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar General Emeritus of the Diocese of Rome; and Cardinal Jozef Tomko, former prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
Fr. Lombardi said that the five cardinals were selected by the Pope for their “vast and varied experience serving the Church” in Rome and internationally, so that they “may profitably exchange ideas and suggestions with the Holy Father in order to help re-establish that climate of serenity and trust in the service of the Roman Curia.”
On June 23 the Vatican also confirmed that American journalist Greg Burke will be the new “senior communications adviser” to the Secretariat of State.
The 52-year-old from St. Louis has spent the past decade as a correspondent with Fox News, covering the Vatican, Europe and the Middle East.