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Pope Francis: 13 new cardinals “who express the missionary vocation of the Church”

On 5 October, on the eve of the Synod on the Amazon, Pope Francis will create 13 new Cardinals-10 of whom are eligible to vote - from Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. Missionary vocation, inter-religious dialogue and responsibility towards creation - the three key-features

(Foto Vatican Media/SIR)

“I knew nothing about it, I was celebrating Mass here in Lourdes…”. The Archbishop of Bologna, Matteo Zuppi, caught by surprise like the other candidates to the cardinalate, commented on the choice of Pope Francis, announced yesterday – when the Church celebrated the World Day of Creation – at the end of a challenging Angelus prayer that began late since Francis was stuck in a Vatican elevator. He is the only Italian prelate who will be created Cardinal on October 5: the remaining 12 come from Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. The only part of the world absent in the map outlined by the sixth Consistory convened by Bergoglio – scheduled for October 5, in the wake of the Synod on the Amazon – is North America. “I was immediately reminded of the Gospel today,” continued Zuppi, who was formed in the Community of Sant’Egidio: “Whoever exalts himself will be humiliated and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. I am grateful to Pope Francis for thinking of me and I consider it as an invitation to pray and work even more for the unity of the Church. The cardinal’s garment is red for his witness extends to the point of the shedding of his blood. We hope to be good witnesses of the Gospel: that of today is very clear.”

Missionary vocation, inter-religious dialogue and responsibility towards creation. These are three key-traits shared by the thirteen new cardinals, eight of whom are members of religious congregations.

From 5 October next, 52% of the voting cardinals will have been chosen by Pope Francis in his six Consistories, since 2014. The College of Cardinals will hence be composed of 228 cardinals altogether, 128 of whom will be cardinal electors and 100 non-electors. Of the new red hats, 10 will go to cardinal electors and three to non-electors, i.e. over eighty. The 128 cardinal electors will include: 55 Europeans ( 22 Italians); 23 Latin Americans; 13 North Americans; 17 Africans, 16 Asians and 4 from Oceania.

They express “the missionary vocation of the church that continues to proclaim the merciful love of God to all men and women of the earth”,

is the mandate entrusted by the Holy Father to the new cardinals.

Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot (1), president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue since 25 May last, was born in Seville on 17 June 1952. Comboni missionary in Egypt and Sudan until 2002, he served as Professor of Islamology from 1989 first in Khartoum, then in Cairo and then at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies, where he held the office of dean until 2012. José Tolentino Calaça de Mendonça (2), archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church since June 2018, is Portuguese, from Madeira, where he was born on December 15, 1965. He was the rector of the Pontifical Portuguese College in Rome, Lecturer at the Catholic Universities of Pernambuco and Rio de Janeiro and at the Faculty of Philosophy and Theology of Belo Horizonte. He served as consulter at the Pontifical Council for Culture since 2011. Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo (3), Archbishop of Jakarta and President of the Bishops’ Conference of Indonesia, was born on 9 July 1950 in Sedayn and ordained priest on 26 January 1976. He was appointed Military Ordinary in Indonesia on 2 January 2006. Juan de la Caridad García Rodríguez (4), Archbishop of San Cristóbal de la Habana, was born in Camagüey on 11 July 1948. Ordained priest on 25 January 1972, he was appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of San Cristóbal de La Habana by Pope Francis on 26 April 2016. Fridolin Ambongo Besungu (5), Archbishop of Kinshasa, was born in Boto on 24 January 1960. Ordained priest on 14 August 1988, he has served as bishop of Bokungu-Ikela since 6 March 2005. In June 2016 he became Vice-President of Congo’s National Bishops’ Conference.

Jean-Claude Höllerich (6), Archbishop of Luxembourg, was born on 9 August 1958 in Differdange. In 1981 he joined the Society of Jesus. Among other things, he was the delegate of the Japanese Bishops’ Conference for the World Youth Day in Cologne in 2005. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Archbishop of Luxembourg on 12 July 2011. Alvaro L. Ramazzini Imeri (7), Bishop of Huehuetenamgo, born in Ciudad de Guatemala on 16 July 1947, was ordained priest on 27 June 1971. He received episcopal consecration in Rome from Saint John Paul II on 6 January 1989. He served as President of the Bishops’ Conference of Guatemala from 2006 to 2008. Matteo Zuppi (8),   Archbishop of Bologna since 2015. He was born in Rome on 11 October 1955 and was ordained for the Diocese of Palestrina in 1981 and incardinated in Rome on 15 November 1988. He was Assistant Ecclesiastic General of the Community of St Egidio from 2000 to 2012; Parish of Sts Simon and Jude parish in Torre Angela from 2010 to 2012, and from 2011 to 2012 Prefect of the 17th Prefecture of Rome. He became an Auxiliary Bishop of Rome on 31 January 2012 with the titular see of Villanova, he received his episcopal consecration on 14 April of the same year. Cristóbal López Romero (9), nominated archbishop of Rabat in December 2017. He was born on May 19 1952 in Vélez-Rubio of the Diocese of Almería in Spain. He entered the Salesians in 1964 and was ordained priest on May 19 1979.  Michael Czerny (10), Undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, – was born in the former Czechoslovakia in 1946 and entered the Society of Jesus in 1963. In 1973 he was ordained a priest of the Canadian Province of Jesuits. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI nominated him an adiutor (expert) for the Second Synod of African Bishops. Three bishops emeritus complete the list. They are: Michael Louis FitzgeraldSigitas Tamkevičius and Eugenio Dal Corso. 

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