Pope appoints 18 new cardinals, including Mumbai Archbishop Gracias
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Catholic Church will have 18 new cardinal “electors” on November 24. Benedict XVI announced today that an ordinary public consistory will take place on that day. The new cardinals include seven from the curia and 11 from the great cities of the world. An Asian is among them: Indian Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay (Mumbay). In addition to the “electors,” cardinals who are not yet 80-years-old and eligible to vote in conclaves, the Pope will also elevate to the cardinal’s dignity a few other eminent figures in the Catholic Church like Emmanuel III Delly, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, head of the Chaldean Church in Iraq.
The new cardinals from the curia are from Italy: Angelo Comastri, archpriest in Saint Peter’s Basilica and vicar for Vatican City; Giovanni Lajolo, President of the Governorate of Vatican City; Raffaele Farina, archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church; from Argentina: Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; from Germany: Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum; and from Poland: Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. From the United States, there is a former member of the curia, John P. Foley, currently grand master of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher and a former president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
In addition to Mgr Gracias, residential bishops, i.e. head of large dioceses, include Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa (Italy) and president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference; Agustín García-Gasco Vicente, of Valencia (Spain); Seán Baptist Brady, of Armagh (Ireland), Lluís Martínez Sistach, of Barcelona (Spain), André Vingt-Trois, of Paris (France), Théodore-Adrien Sarr, of Dakar (Senegal), Francisco Robles Ortega, of Monterrey (Mexico), Daniel N. DiNardo, of Galveston-Houston (United States), Odilio Pedro Scherer, of São Paulo (Brazil), and John Njue, of Nairobi (Kenya).
The Pope said that with the new appointments he intends to exceed by one the limit of 120 “electors” set by Paul VI and confirmed by John Paul II. He further said that he wants “to raise to the Cardinal's dignity three venerated prelates and two meritorious ecclesiastics for their commitment to serve the Church.” Besides Patriarch Delly, they are Giovanni Coppa, former apostolic nuncio; Estanislao Esteban Karlic, archbishop emeritus of Paraná (Argentina), Urbano Navarrete, a former rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University; and Umberto Betti, also a former rector of the Pontifical Lateran University.
“It was also my desire to have among them Ignacy Jeó, the old meritorious bishop of Koszalin- Kołobrzeg in Poland, but he suddenly passed away yesterday,” Benedict XVI said. “To him go our prayers of suffrage.”
Before announcing the consistory, the Pope talked about Saint Eusebius, the 4th century bishop of Vercelli, to the 30,000 people present at the general audience. To them he launched an appeal “to multiply the efforts to eliminate the causes of poverty and the tragic consequences that follow.”
Too many populations, he said, “still live in conditions of extreme poverty. The gap between rich and poor has become more blatant and disquieting, even in economically advanced nations.”
Benedict XVI slammed “this worrisome situation” which “touches humanity’s conscience since the conditions in which such a large number of people live offend the dignity of human beings and consequently compromise the world community’s authentic and harmonious progress.”