Vatican City, 4 July 2014 (VIS) – The Council of Cardinals, gathered at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, will conclude its meetings this evening. The next sessions have been scheduled for 15-17 September, 9-11 December and 9-11 February 2015.

With regard to the themes considered, as well as those indicated in recent days (the Governorate, the Secretariat of State and the Institute for the Works of Religion), the Council resumed its reflections on the dicasteries of the Curia. The Laity and Family were studied in particular depth, especially in terms of the contributions and roles that should be assumed by laypeople, married couples and women.

Decisions were not made, but more detailed proposals were offered that will subsequently be inserted into the overall framework of the new configuration of the Curia.

This afternoon the Council will continue its meeting, turning its attention to the dicasteries that have so far been studied less thoroughly.

Other themes on which there has been an exchange of opinions during the meetings include the nunciatures and their work, and the procedures for the appointment of bishops.

Aside from the contribution of the Commission of Cardinals for the Supervision of the IOR, heard on Tuesday and Wednesday, there was no further participation from entities external to the Council.

With regard to the working atmosphere and approach, the participants have expressed great satisfaction. The overall tone has been described as “free, frank and friendly” (the “3Fs”). The Pope participates naturally in the dialogue, promoting a climate of free expression.

There are still no texts that may be considered as drafts of the new Constitution, since the work proceeds in the form of partial contributions, generally presented by individual Cardinals charged with the task of studying specific matters.