21 new cardinals are named by Pope Francis, including prelates stationed in Jerusalem and Hong Kong

Pope Francis has chosen 21 new cardinals, including prelates from Jerusalem and Hong Kong, as he continues to influence the body of churchmen who will select his successor. The ceremony to formally install the cardinals will be held on September 30. Among the tapped cardinals are Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, 59, who will lead the Holy See's office for ensuring doctrinal orthodoxy and overseeing processing of allegations of sexual abuse against clergy worldwide. The new cardinals also include Hong Kong Bishop Stephen Sau-yan Chow and the Vatican's top official in the Middle East, Monsignor Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. Francis has repeatedly cited the hardships of the Christian minority in the Middle East in recent decades. The region's 2,000-year-old Christian community has come under increasing attack, with the most right-wing government in Israel's history emboldening extremists who have harassed clergy and vandalized religious property at a quickening pace. For decades, the Vatican and China have experienced tensions alternating with improvement of relations over the Communist-led nation's insistence that it has the right to appoint bishops and the jailing of priests who professed loyalty to the Pope. Cardinals serve as advisers to the pontiff on matters of teaching and administration, including the Vatican's scandal-plagued finances. With the latest appointments, the number of cardinals who meet that condition stands at 137. This means that increasingly, the men who will vote for whoever succeeds Francis in the event of his resignation or death are churchmen supportive of his values, priorities, and perspectives and who share his vision for the future of the Catholic Church.

The list of 21 new cardinals includes Monsignors Americo Manuel Alves Aguiar, a 49-year-old auxiliary bishop from Lisbon, Portugal, and Monsignors Sebastian Francis, Francois-Xavier Bustillo, Luis Jose Rueda Aparicio, and Grzegorz Rys. Monsignor Emil Paul Tscherrig, a Swiss prelate, is the first non-Italian to serve as papal ambassador to Italy and San Marino. Monsignors Angel Sixto Rossi, Jose Cobo Cano, and the Rev. Angel Fernandez Artime are also included. Three of the 21 cardinals are 80 or older and not eligible to vote in a conclave. Italian prelate Agostino Marchetto, who served as the top Vatican diplomat in Belarus, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Tanzania, and Franciscan priest Luis Pascual Dri, praised by Francis for his emphasis on mercy. The list highlights the diverse backgrounds and experiences of the 21 cardinals.


Post a Comment