2013-12-04 Vatican - Pope Francis on Wednesday met for the third time with the 8-member Council of Cardinals to discuss the proposed reforms of the Roman Curia. The meeting will last until Thursday. The first meeting took place in October.

In a press briefing, the head of the Holy See Press Office Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, stated that the Cardinals have continued in the discussions as foreseen, with a meeting on Tuesday afternoon in the presence of the Holy Father, and one on Wednesday morning that the Pope did not attend because he was holding the General Audience.

Describing the atmosphere as cordial and open-minded, Father Lombardi said the Cardinals are focussing on the various Dicasteries of the Curia, tackling the various issues “one after the other, without a criteria of priority or for any particular motive”. Thus, they have started talking about the Congregations, and then they will be focussing on Pontifical Councils and on other Dicasteries.

Father Lombardi revealed that amongst the issues the Cardinals have talked about are the causes for Saints, Catholic education and evangelization of peoples. The work is proceeding rapidly, and tomorrow – he said – “I will be able to tell you if they have concluded their argumentations on the Congregations”.

Adjourning the briefing to Thursday, Father Lombardi concluded with the information that the Vatican Financial Intelligence Unit on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with its German counterpart, the "Zentralstelle für Verdachtsmeldungen at the Bundeskriminalamt".

He explained that the Memorandum is standard practice and formalizes the cooperation and exchange of financial information to fight money laundering and terrorist financing across borders between the competent authorities of both countries.