News From The Pope

Pope to New Cardinals: ‘Follow Him’

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“Follow Him, and walk ahead of the holy people of God, with your gaze fixed on the Lord’s Cross and Resurrection.”

This was the advice Pope Francis gave to new cardinals when presiding over a consistory for the creation of five new cardinals today, June 28, 2017. During his Regina Coeli address in St. Peter’s Square on May 21, Francis announced this consistory, to be held before the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.

The new cardinals come from four continents: one from Asia, one from Africa, one from Central America and two from Europe. During the May 21 Regina Coeli, the Pope noted: “Their origin in different parts of the world manifests the Catholicity of the Church spread throughout the earth.”

With these new creations, the College of Cardinals will have a total of 227 members, including 121 electors (49 electors created by Pope Francis) and 106 non-voters over the age of 80.

In total, after today’s consistory, Pope Francis will have created 60 cardinals over the course of his pontificate.

The five new cardinals are all under the age of 80. They will, therefore, be voters in the event of a conclave.

  • Cardinal Jean Zerbo, Archbishop of Bamako, Mali, 73
  • Cardinal Juan José Omella, Archbishop of Barcelona in Spain, 71
  • Cardinal Anders Arborelius, Bishop of Stockholm, Sweden, 67
  • Cardinal Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, Apostolic Vicar of Pakse in Laos, 73 years old
  • Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chávez, who was Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador in El Salvador, 74 years old

During the Pope’s homily at the consistory this afternoon, the Pope stressed to the new cardinals: “Jesus ‘is walking ahead of you,’ and he asks you to follow him resolutely on his way. He calls you to look at reality, not to let yourselves be distracted by other interests or prospects.’

“He has not called you to become ‘princes’ of the Church, to ‘sit at his right or at his left,’ he pointed out, but rather “calls you to serve like Him and with Him, along with the Father and your brothers and sisters.”

As the Lord did, the Pope urged, face the sin of the world and its effects on today’s humanity.

“Follow Him, and walk ahead of the holy people of God, with your gaze fixed on the Lord’s Cross and Resurrection.”

Pope Francis concluded, praying the Holy Spirit “bridge every gap between our hearts and the heart of Christ, so that our lives may be completely at the service of God and all our brothers and sisters.”

After the consistory and before the courtesy visits, Pope Francis and the new cardinals will go to the Mater Ecclesia Monastery in the Vatican Gardens to briefly meet Pope Benedict XVI.