· At the Angelus ·
The 20 cardinals that Pope Francis will create on 14 February are from 18 different countries from around the world. This will be the second consistory of the Holy Father's pontificate. The Pope from “the ends of the earth” has decided to add to the College of Cardinals pastors from ancient nations of faith and also from geographical and religious "peripheries".
At the Angelus on Sunday, 4 January, the Holy Father said this decision is evidence of “the unbreakable bond between the Church of Rome and the particular Churches present in the world”, during his announcement before thousands of people in St Peter's Square.
Of the 15 cardinal-electors, who are less than 80 years old, destined to enter a future conclave, only one is from the Roman Curia: Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. With regards to the other 14 cardinal-electors, the Pope chose pastors who celebrate the diversity and specific nature of the Churches (four from Europe, three from Asia and from America, two from Africa and Oceania), outlining the increasingly global and open "geography" of the Church. Moreover, some countries – Cape Verde, Tonga, Myanmar – will for the first time have a representative in the College of Cardinals .
These cardinals will be joined by five non-electors who are already retired and who represent, the Pope said, the “many Bishops who, with the same pastoral solicitude, have borne witness of the love of Christ and to the People of God in the Particular Churches, in the Roman Curia, and in the diplomatic service of the Holy See”.
Francis has asked the future cardinals to be witnesses of the Gospel and to bear witness to it through their apostolic service. We must realize, Pope Francis said after the Marian prayer, that peace is realized only by working to put an end to the “bloodshed in too many regions on the the planet” and also through daily “gestures of fraternity toward our neighbour, especially toward those who are tried by family tensions or various types of conflicts”. “These small gestures are of so much value: they can be seeds which give hope, they can open paths and perspectives of peace”.
St. Peter’s Square
Feb. 20, 2019
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