The group of eight cardinals advising Pope Francis on reforming the governance of the Church is set to meet with him for the fifth time this week, reports NCR Online.
While the Cardinals have not indicated exactly what the group will be focusing on during its July 1-4 meetings, the Vatican signalled in an April statement that the prelates have already finished a review of the Vatican's nine main governmental bodies, known as congregations, and are now proceeding to review its 12 auxiliary bodies, known as councils.
Likewise, unsubstantiated reports in June were speculating that Francis was considering creating several new secretariats to combine similar Vatican departments into one structure for the sake of expediency and effectiveness.
Francis established the advisory group, known formally as the Council of Cardinals, last year to 'study a project of revision' of the Vatican's bureaucracy, known as the Roman Curia. The group met together for the first time in October.
Among papal decisions known to be influenced by the cardinals' group in the past year are the establishments of a new Vatican Secretariat for the Economy, headed by council member Australian Cardinal George Pell, and of a new Papal advisory commission on clergy sexual abuse, which includes council member Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley.
While the group's last meeting, held April 28-30, had been largely overshadowed by the events leading up to the dual canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II on April 27, the Vatican issued a brief statement April 29 saying not to expect final results from the cardinals' work until 2015.
'The work to be done is still much, so it should not be expected that it will be completed in the current year, but in the following,' the Vatican said in that statement.