Pope Francis has appointed five new members to his council of cardinal advisers, including Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich and Canadian Cardinal Gérald C. Lacroix.
The Vatican announced the nine members of the Council of Cardinals on March 7, who are tasked with assisting the pope “in the governance of the universal Church.”
The new members include Brazilian Cardinal Sérgio da Rocha, Spanish Cardinal Juan José Omella Omella, and Cardinal Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, along with Hollerich and Lacroix.
The new appointments mean that Honduran Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga and Germany’s Cardinal Reinhard Marx are no longer members of the Council of Cardinals.
The group was established by Pope Francis in 2013 to advise him on the reform of the Roman Curia, particularly the new apostolic constitution, Praedicate evangelium, published last year.
The C9 continued to meet after the constitution’s publication and discussed the Synod on Synodality and the work of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors at its last meeting in December.
The appointment of Hollerich, who is one of the leading organizers of the ongoing Synod on Synodality, indicates that the council will continue to have a role advising the pope on the global synod process.
Hollerich is a Jesuit and was appointed by Pope Francis in 2021 as the relator general of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.
Three original members of the C9 remain in the council: American Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias, and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state.
Congolese Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, who was appointed in 2020, will also remain in the council of advisers, and Bishop Marco Mellino will continue to serve as the group’s secretary.
The next meeting of the Council of Cardinals will be held on April 24 at the pope’s Vatican residence, Casa Santa Marta, at 9 a.m.