Pope Francis appoints 13 new cardinals


The Catholic Church has always seen itself as a universal Church. For a long time, however, their leadership was dominated by Italians and other Europeans. Under Francis it is now becoming more and more international.

Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory becomes the first African American in the College of Cardinals.

Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory becomes the first African American in the College of Cardinals.

Andrew Harnik / AP

Pope Francis has appointed 13 new cardinals. In a consistory on November 28 they are “created”, that is, they are raised to the rank of cardinals. As before, Francis has placed clear personal accents with this appointment. The latest appointments show a similar trend to those of previous years. Clergymen and religious who have engaged in social issues and human rights are increasingly involved. In addition, the clergy of distant countries – seen from Rome – are promoted. Even if there is no shortage of Italians, once again the historical claims to a cardinalate of bishops from important dioceses such as Milan are not taken into account.

Francis prepares the election of his successor

The governing body of the Catholic Church is gradually becoming more international under Francis. This is overdue and imperative, as the church sees itself as a universal church.

The Pope has a free hand in appointing cardinals. With these promotions, he has taken a step forward in choosing his successors. At the end of November there will be 232 cardinals, 128 of whom will therefore be less than 80 years old and therefore entitled to vote in elections for the Pope. The majority of them, namely 73, were appointed by Francis. 14 are Italians, 53 Europeans, 29 are considered cardinals of the Curia with duties in the Vatican.

A notable figure among the newly appointed cardinals by origin and career is Cornelius Sim (69) of the Sultanate of Brunei. He was first an oil engineer in the service of Shell, then he became a theologian and the first Catholic bishop in the small Muslim-majority oil state. O Antoine Kambanda (61) from Rwanda, who lost almost his entire family in the 1994 genocide. As director of Caritas, moral theologian and bishop, he was practically and theoretically involved in coming to terms with major crimes and rebuilding the Rwandan company.

First African American cardinal

African American Wilton Gregory, 72, Archbishop of Washington, becomes the first Black American in the College of Cardinals. The Filipino José Fuerte Advincula (68) and the Mexican Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel (80) also come from non-European countries; both campaigned for the needs of indigenous peoples in their countries. Celestino Aos Braco (75), Spanish by birth, played an important role in belatedly coping with the abuse scandal in Chile, where the Pope himself had made an unfortunate figure.

The Maltese Mario Grech (63) is considered a representative of a church that takes note of social change and does not hide behind dogmas. Six of the appointees are Italian. Augusto Lojudice (56) and Silvano Tomasi (80) dealt with migrants and marginalized groups. Marcello Semeraro (73) recently took over the direction of the Congregation for Saints and Beatifications and is therefore an ex officio cardinal. The nominees are all bishops or archbishops. But this time even simple priests are appointed bearers of purple: the Franciscan Mauro Gambetti, the youngest of those in charge at 55, the Capuchin Raniero Cantalamessa (86) and the former director of the Roman Caritas Enrico Feroci (80).

Source link