Pope Francis News: 19 Bishops Elevated To Cardinal Status
In a ceremony as old as the Catholic Church itself, Pope Francis elevated 19 bishops to the rank of cardinal, the second-highest position in the Church this past Saturday. Although the ceremony in and of itself is nothing new to the Catholic tradition, it is the first such ceremony conducted by the Argentinean pope since he was named pope in March. His appointments also reflect a shift in the Catholic Church's focus and goals.
Pope Francis elevated the 19 bishops from around the world at a ceremony, called a public consistory inside St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, according to CNN. In the ceremony the 19 elected men were given the biretta, or red cap worn by cardinals, and ring. The scarlet color of the cap and cardinal vestments symbolize their willingness to die for their faith. Of the 19 bishops selected, four come from Europe, signifying a shift in the Catholic Church's focus, explains the Telegraph. According to the newly appointed Cardinal Nichols, formerly the Archbishop of Westminster, Pope Francis is "broadening his perspectives."
According to Cardinal Nichols, "Some are drawn from places of real poverty: Burkina Faso, Haiti and the Philippines. The voice of those who live among and care for the poor is a voice Pope Francis wants to hear in his counsels." According to the AP, two of the cardinals come from Africa, two from Asia, and six from Latin America. Sixteen of the cardinals, it is reported, are under 80 years old and will be eligible to vote in the next conclave, the election of a new pope.
CNN also reports that Pope Francis wanted to explain the significance of his appointments to the appointees and the importance of their positions. Becoming a cardinal "does not signify a promotion, an honor nor a decoration: it is simply a service that demands a broader vision and a bigger heart," he told chosen men in a letter. He added, "And, although it seems a paradox, this ability to look further and love more universally with greater intensity can be acquired only by following the way of the Lord: The way of lowliness and of humility, taking the form of a servant."
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