Pope names 13 new cardinals, includes WDC Archbishop Gregory
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis appointed 13 new cardinals on Sunday, including Archbishop of Washington DC Wilton Gregory, who became the first black US prelate to receive the coveted red hat.
In a surprise announcement from his studio window to the believers standing below in St. Peter's Square, Francis said that the clergy would be promoted to cardinal in a ceremony on November 28th.
Other new cardinals are an Italian who is the long-time papal preacher in the Vatican; Pastor Raniero Cantalamessa, a Franciscan monk; the Kigali, Rwanda, Archbishop Antoine Kambanda; the Capiz, Philippines, Archbishop Jose Feurte Advincula; and the Santiago, Chile, Archbishop Celestino Aos Braco.
Another Franciscan who has been tapped is Brother Mauro Gambetti, who is in charge of the Holy Monastery in Assisi. When the Pope was elected in 2013, he chose St. Francis of Assisi as his namesake. Earlier this month, the Pope traveled to this mountain town in Umbria to sign an encyclical or important ecclesiastical doctrinal document on brotherhood.
Following pressure from the Pope to help those in need, Francis also appointed the former director of the Catholic charity in Rome, Caritas, Rev. Enrico Feroci, cardinal.
73-year-old Wilton was chosen by Francis to lead the prestigious diocese in the US capital last year. The prelate has his pulse on factions in the American Catholic Church, which has both strong Conservative and Liberal streak, since serving as head of the US Bishops' Conference three times.
Nine of the new cardinals are under 80 years of age and can therefore elect the next Pope in a secret conclave. Some cardinals run powerful offices in the Vatican, and papal tumors often turn to cardinals for advice.
The Vatican did not release immediate details of the consistory as the solemn ceremony to appoint the cardinals of the Ecclesiastics is well known, especially given the travel restrictions many countries were involved in during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As with other groups of cardinals he has tapped into in his papacy, Francis in this selection reflected the global nature of the Catholic Church and its flock of 1.2 billion Catholics.
Other named cardinals are a Maltese prelate, Monsignor Mario Grech; Monsignor Marcello Semeraro, an Italian who acts as Prefect of the Vatican Office that directs the process of making saints; Bishop Cornelius Sim, a native of Brunei, who serves as the Apostolic Pastor of Brunei; the Italian Archbishop of Siena and the surrounding cities in Tuscany, Augusto Lojudice; the retired Bishop of San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, Monsignor Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel; and an Italian former Vatican diplomat, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi.
Churchmen over 80, called cardinals, are selected to honor their lives in the service of the Church. Those in this group who are too old to vote in a conclave are Cantalamessa, Tomasi, Feroci, and Arizmendi Esquivel.
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