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Pope Francis has told the Church’s 19 new cardinals to embrace service and humility as they take on their new roles as “princes of the Church”.
In an unprecedented letter to the men he named as cardinals yesterday Pope Francis said that being made a cardinal – a rank historically described as a prince of the Church – was not a promotion.
“The Cardinalate does not mean a promotion, nor an honour, nor a decoration. It is simply a service that widens the eye and enlarges the heart,” he said.
This could only be achieved by “taking the form of a servant,” the Pope added, and following the way of humility and lowliness.
He told the cardinal-designates to celebrate their appointment humbly, and to keep far from “worldiness”.
"You should take up the post with elation and joy but make sure this sentiment is far from any expression of worldliness, any celebrations that are foreign to the evangelical spirit of austerity, sobriety and poverty," he said.
Pope Francis’ announcement yesterday of the new cardinals, 16 of whom are eligible to vote in a conclave, ended months of speculation about who he would include in his first batch of appointments. The 16 hail from 12 different countries and include Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster. They and three men over the age of 80 will be made cardinals at Francis’ first consistory on 22 February.
Archbishop Loris Capovilla, 98, the beloved secretary of the soon-to-be-canonised Pope John XXIII, is the most notable among the elderly men without the right to vote in a conclave.
Francis announced the new cardinals at the end of the Angelus on Sunday from the window of the papal study overlooking St Peter’s Square.
As expected he will give the “red hat” to his Secretary of State, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, and three other top Roman Curia officials. They include Archbishops Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops; Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Faith; and Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.
The only other Italian to be named was a surprise choice – Archbishop Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia. It is the first time the central Italian diocese will be headed by a cardinal since 1846, when it was led by the future Pope Leo XIII.
Most of the other heads of archdioceses that will get the red hat are in places customarily headed by a cardinal. However, the selection of Archbishop Orlando Quevedo in the Philippines and Bishop Chibly Langlois from Haiti were further surprises.
Pope Francis named only one North American among the new cardinals – Archbishop Gerald Lacroix of Quebec. Archbishops Nichols and Bassetti were the only heads of dioceses in Europe to receive the honour.
Following is the list of the new cardinals in the order that Pope Francis announced them:
1. Pietro Parolin, 59, Secretary of State
2. Lorenzo Baldisseri, 73, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops
3. Gerhard Ludwig Müller, 66, Prefect of the CDF
4. Beniamino Stella, 72, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy
5. Vincent Gerard Nichols, 68, Westminster (Great Britain)
6. Leopoldo José Brenes Solorzano, 64, Managua (Nicaragua)
7. Gerald Cyprien Lacroix, 56, Quebec (Canada)
8. Jean-Pierre Kutwa, 68, Abidjan (Ivory Coast)
9. Orani Joao Tempesta, O.Cist, 63, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
10. Gualtiero Bassetti, 71, Perugia-Citta della Pieve (Italy)
11. Mario Aurelio Poli, 66, Buenos Aires (Argentina)
12. Andrew Yeom Soo jung, 70, Seoul (Korea)
13. Ricardo Ezzati Andrello SDB, 72, Santiago del Cile (Chile)
14. Philippe Nakellentuba Ouédraogo, 69, Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)
15. Orlando B. Quevedo OMI, 74, Cotabato (Philippines)
16. Chibly Langlois, 55, Les Cayes (Haiti)
Newly announced cardinals over the age of 80:
1. Loris Francesco Capovilla, 98, Titular Archbishop of Mesembria (Italy)
2. Fernando Sebastian Aguilar CMF, 84, Archbishop-emeritus of Pamplona (Spain)
3. Mgr Kelvin Edward Felix, 81, Archbishop Emeritus of Castries (Antilles)
Watch Pope Francis announce the names of the new cardinals in St Peter's Square in Rome: