World News – CA – Pope appoints 13 new cardinals, including first black American prelate


VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis appointed 13 new cardinals on Sunday, including Washington DC Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who would become the first black US prelate to win the coveted red hat

In a surprise announcement from his studio window to worshipers standing below in St Peter’s Square, Francis said the clergymen would be elevated to the rank of cardinal in a ceremony on November 28

Francis asked for prayers that the new cardinals « may help me in my ministry as Bishop of Rome for the good of all the faithful saints of God »

Gregory’s selection has been hailed by LGBTQ advocates in the United States, days after Pope Francis made headlines for expressing support for civil unions for same-sex couples

Other new cardinals include an Italian who is the longtime papal preacher at the Vatican, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, who is a Franciscan friar; Kigali, Rwanda, Archbishop Antoine Kambanda; Capiz, Philippines, Archbishop Jose Feurte Advincula, and Santiago, Chile, Archbishop Celestino Aos Braco

Another Franciscan who has been exploited is Brother Mauro Gambetti, head of the Sacred Convent of Assisi The Pope, upon his election in 2013, chose St Francis of Assisi as his namesake saint Earlier this month, the pontiff went to this hill town in Umbria to sign an encyclical, or important church teaching document, on brotherhood

Gambetti was so surprised, at first he thought the Pope was joking when he heard he was appointed, Convent spokesperson the Rev. Enzo Fortunato said Gambetti quickly pledged to « serve humanity at a time so difficult for all of us », including offering compassion to the needy, Fortunato said in reference to the coronavirus pandemic. / p>

To reflect the pope’s concern to help those in need, Francis also appointed the former director of Rome’s Catholic charity, Caritas, the Rev. Enrico Feroci, being a cardinal

The prestigious Archdiocese of Washington has traditionally carried the elevation to the rank of cardinal, so the Pope’s appointment of Gregory, 73, last year had positioned him to be hired for the honor


Still, the timing of his rise to the post of cardinal is remarkable, coming in the thick of US attention to racial injustice following the police murder of George Floyd, a black man, in Minnesota this year Gregory publicly criticized US President Donald Trump’s visit to St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington a day after civil rights protesters were forcibly evicted from a plaza to facilitate the president’s visit to an Episcopal Church in the ‘US Capital

Gregory took his pulse on factions in the US Catholic Church, which has both strong conservative and liberal veins since serving three times as head of the US Bishops’ Conference

Conservative prelates in the United States have openly lambasted Francis for his more liberal stances, including his support for same-sex civil unions which came out in a new documentary this week

Gregory said in a statement that becoming a cardinal would allow him to work more closely with the pontiff to take care of the Catholic Church

While Gregory led the Diocese of Atlanta earlier in his career, he wrote positively in a column about his conversations with Catholic parents of LGBTQ children. An advocate for LGBTQ Catholics, Francis DeBernardo, told the Associated Press that choosing Gregory for the post of cardinal meant that Francis wanted « LGBTQ people to be part of the church, and he wants the faithful to respect them »

He also hailed the elevation to cardinal status of a Vatican bishop from Malta, a tiny, traditionally Catholic nation that has made significant strides in civil rights and LGBTQ protection in recent years

DeBernardo was referring to Mario Grech, 63, who serves in the Vatican as secretary general of the office of the Synod of Bishops and who once headed the diocese on the Maltese island of Gozo

“Since naming the cardinals also affects who will be the next pontiff, the Pope also shows that he plans for the future of the Church to continue in this affirmative posture on questions of sexual orientation and identity of kind, « the US, » DeBernardo said in a written statement

Nine of the new cardinals are under 80 and therefore eligible to elect the next pontiff in a secret conclave Some cardinals run powerful Vatican offices, and pontiffs frequently turn to cardinals for advice

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No details were immediately given by the Vatican on the official ceremony for the appointment of cardinal clergymen, particularly in view of travel restrictions involving many countries during the COVID-19 pandemic

As he did in other groups of cardinals that he tapped into his papacy, Francis in this selection reflected the overall nature of the Catholic Church and its flock of 12 billion Catholics

Other honored people include Bishop Marcello Semeraro, an Italian serving as the prefect of the Vatican office who directs the process of making saints; Bishop Cornelius Sim, originally from Brunei and Apostolic Vicar of Brunei; the Italian archbishop of Siena and the neighboring towns of Tuscany, Augusto Lojudice; the retired bishop of San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, Monsignor Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel; and a former Italian Vatican diplomat Archbishop Silvano Tomasi

Clergymen over 80 who are appointed cardinals are chosen to honor their life in church service Those in this group too old to vote in a conclave are Cantalamessa, Tomasi, Feroci and Arizmendi Esquivel

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Pope Francis, Cardinal, Wilton Daniel Gregory, Vatican City

News from around the world – CA – The Pope appoints 13 new cardinals, including the first black American prelate



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