Pope approves statutes of new office for laity, family, life

The new Vatican office for laity, family and life will begin functioning Sept. 1 and the separate pontifical councils for laity and for the family will “cease their functions,” the Vatican announced. Pope Francis has not named the new officers of the expanded office, but the statutes specify that it will be headed by a cardinal or a bishop, will have a secretary “who may be a layperson” and three undersecretaries who will be laypeople. The Vatican published the statutes of the new office June 4 and explained that the office would be responsible “for the promotion of the life and apostolate of the lay faithful, for the pastoral care of the family and its mission according to God’s plan and for the protection and support of human life.”

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