Pope Francis Names 17 cardinals, ‘Princes of the Church’

Pope Francis Names 17 cardinals, ‘Princes of the Church’
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Pope Francis has named 17 new cardinals from across the globe Saturday (Nov 19), elevating them in a time-honoured ceremony to an elite body that advises and elects popes. Three of them are from the US, while others come from corners of the world where the Catholic Church needs a boost. Dressed in red robes, the “princes of the Church” knelt before the pontiff to pledge their allegiance in a solemn ceremony.

Thirteen of them are under 80 and therefore eligible to take part in the next secret conclave to elect or become the head of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. They are known as cardinal electors.

History’s first Latin American pope is famed for wanting to reach out to far-flung dioceses often overlooked by Rome and he has shunned European candidates almost entirely, favouring low-key, pastoral figures or men he knows.

The cardinal electors come from Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Central African Republic, Italy, Mauritius, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Spain, the United States and Venezuela.

During the ceremony, Pope Francis decried what he said was a “growing animosity” between people, and raised concern over those who “raise walls, build barriers and label people”.

“How many situations of uncertainty and suffering are sown by this growing animosity between peoples, between us! Yes, between us, within our communities, our priests, our meetings,” he said.

“We come from distant lands; we have different traditions, skin colour, languages and social backgrounds; we think differently and we celebrate our faith in a variety of rites. None of this makes us enemies; instead, it is one of our greatest riches,” he said.

The pope gave each man a three-cornered red hat, telling them that the colour symbolises “your readiness to act with courage, even to the shedding of your blood” for the Catholic Church.

They were also handed a gold ring of their high office.

The new cardinals

  1. Mario Zenari, Italy (who will remain in his role as Papal Nuncio to Syria)
  2. Dieudonne Nzapalainga, Central African Republic
  3. Carlos Osoro Sierra, Spain
  4. Sergio da Rocha, Brazil
  5. Blase J Cupich, USA
  6. Patrick D’Rozario, Bangladesh
  7. Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo, Venezuela
  8. Jozef De Kesel, Belgium
  9. Maurice Piat, Mauritius
  10. Kevin Joseph Farrell, USA
  11. Carlos Aguiar Retes, Mexico
  12. John Ribat, Papua New Guinea
  13. Joseph William Tobin, USA
  14. Anthony Soter Fernandez, Malaysia
  15. Renato Corti, Italy
  16. Sebastian Koto Khoarai, Lesotho
  17. Ernest Simoni, Albania

 

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