On 28 November, there will be 13 new additions to the College of Cardinals: 9 are under 80 years of age, among them is the Guardian of Sacro Convento in Assisi, Father Mauro Gambetti.
The Church will have thirteen new Cardinals. Nine of them are younger than 80 and therefore, have the right to participate in a future conclave. Four others are older than 80 years of age. Pope Francis’s announcement came as a surprise, after the recitation of the Angelus of Sunday, 25 October. He communicated the news regarding the creation of the new cardinals to the faithful present in St Peter’s Square as well as to those connected throughout the world.
Two of the new Cardinals work in the Roman Curia: the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, Maltese Mario Grech and the Italian Marcello Semeraro, former Bishop of Albano and the new Prefect for the Congregation of the Causes of Saints.
Six other pastors in the Church throughout the world are joining them: the Archbishop of Kigali, Rwanda, Antoine Kambanda; the Archbishop of Washington, United States, Wilton Gregory; the Archbishop of Capiz, in the Philippines, Jose Fuerte Advincula; the Archbishop of Santiago, Chile, Celestino Aós Braco; the Apostolic Vicar of Brunei, Cornelius Sim; the Archbishop of Siena, Italia, Augusto Paolo Lojudice.
In addition, the Pope has also appointed the current Guardian of the Franciscan Sacro Convento in Assisi, Mauro Gambetti.
To these Cardinals who are younger than 80 years of age, Pope Francis has also added four other Cardinals who are older than 80. They are: Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, Archbishop Emeritus of San Cristóbal de Las Casas (Mexico); former Apostolic Nuncio Silvano Tomasi, former permanent observer at the United Nations in Geneva who then worked in the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development; Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Papal Household; and the pastor of the Shrine of Divine Love, Father Enrico Feroci.
Cardinals wear the colour red which indicates their willingness to sacrifice themselves usque ad sanguinis effusionem, that is, to the point of sheding their own blood, in the service of the Successor of Peter, and even though they reside in the remostest regions of the world, they become the titular of a parish in the Eternal City so that they are incardinated in the Church of which the Pope is Bishop.
New Cardinals come from all corners of the earth
They come from Africa, Asia (Brunei and the Philippines), North and South America and Italy. In addition, there is a particular accent on the sons of St Francis during the year in which the Encyclical “Fratelli tutti” was published. Short biographies of the 13 new Cardinals Pope Francis announced on Sunday follow.
Bishop Mario Grech – General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops
Bishop Mario Grech was born in Qala (Malta), in the Diocese of Gozo on 20 February 1957. He completed primary school, high school school in Gozo, followed by philosophical and theological studies at Gozo’s seminary. After priestly ordination on 26 May 1984, he pursued higher studies in Rome and obtained a licentiate at the Lateran University and a Doctorate in Canon Law at the Angelicum. After returning to Malta, he exercised his ministry in the Cathedral of Gozo, in the National Shrine of Tá-Pinu, and was pastor of the parish in Kercem.
He then carried out the office of Judicial Vicar of the Diocese, member of Malta’s Metropolitican Tribunal, professor of Canon Law in the Seminary. He was also a member of the College of Consultors, the Presbyteral Council and other diocesan commissions. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Bishop of Gozo on 26 November 2011 where he remained until 2 October 2019 when Pope Francis appointed him Pro-Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, of which he became Secretary General on 15 September this year.R
Bishop Marcello Semeraro – Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
Bishop Semeraro was born in Lecce on 22 December 1947. He studied philosophy and theology at the Lateran University in Rome and received a Doctorate in Sacred Theology. He was appointed Bishop of Oria in 1998, Bishop of Albano in 2004. He was appointed the Secretary of the Council of Cardinals in 2013. This past 15 October, Pope Francis appointed him as Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Archbishop Antoine Kambanda – Archbishop di Kigali (Rwanda)
Archbishop Kambanda was born in the Archdiocese of Kigali in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1990 by Blessed John Paul II on the occasion of his pastoral visit to Rwanda. All of the members of his family were killed during the war in 1994, except one brother who lives in Italy. Since his ordination he has served in several academic, pastoral, and administrative roles, including: director of Caritas in the Diocese of Kigali; director of the Diocesan Commission on Justice and Peace; professor of Moral Theology in the Major Seminary of Nyakibanda, Butare; and spiritual director of the Major Seminary of Rutongo, Kigali. Beginning in 2006 he has served as rector of the St. Charles of Nyakibanda Major Seminary in the Diocese of Butare. He was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Kibungo un 7 May 2013 and was subsequently appointed Archbishop of Kilgali on 19 November 2018.
Archbishop Wilton Daniel Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, DC (USA)
The archbishop-elect was born on 7 December 1947 in Chicago, Illinois, in the archdiocese of the same name, was ordained a priest on 9 May 1973 for the archdiocese of Chicago. He studied philosophy at Niles College and theology at Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois, and holds a doctorate in liturgy from the Pontifical Athenaeum of Saint Anselm in Rome (1980). After ordination, he held the following positions: parish vicar of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish at Glenview; student in Rome (1976-1979); professor of liturgy at the Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, member of the archdiocesan Office for the Liturgy and master of ceremonies for Cardinals Cody and Bernardin (1980-1983).
He was appointed titular bishop of Oliva and auxiliary of Chicago on 18 October 1983, and was consecrated the following 13 December. He was transferred to Belleville, Illinois, on 29 December 1993 and took possession of the see on 10 February 1994. He was appointed as metropolitan archbishop of Atlanta, Georgia, on 9 December 2004, and took office on 17 January 2005. On 4 April 2019, Pope Francis appointed him the Archbishop of Washington, DC.
Archbishop Celestino Aós Braco, O.F.M. Cap – Archbishop of Santiago, Chile
H.E. Msgr. Celestino Aós Braco, O.F.M. Cap., was born in Artaiz, archdiocese of Pamplona, Spain, on 6 April 1945. He carried out his philosophical studies in Zaragoza and his theological studies in Pamplona. He obtained a licentiate in psychology from the University of Barcelona, Spain. He gave his temporal religious vows as a Franciscan Capuchin on 15 August 1964 in Sangüesa and his perpetual profession on 16 September 1967 in Pamplona.
He was ordained a priest in Pamplona on 30 March 1968. As a priest he subsequently held the following roles: in Spain, professor in Lecaroz-Navarra, vicar in Tudela, professor in Pamplona and vicar in Zaragoza. In 1983 he was sent to Chile, where he served as parish vicar in the parish of Longavi, superior of the Community in Los Ángeles, parish priest of the parish of San Miguel in Viña del Mar, superior of the Community of Recreo, episcopal vicar for consecrated life for the diocese of Valparaiso, and since 2008, parish vicar of the parish of San Francisco de Asís in Los Ángeles, diocese of Santa María de Los Ángeles. H.E. Msgr.
Aós Braco was also provincial bursar for the Capuchins in Chile, promoter of justice of the ecclesiastical tribunal of Valparaiso, judge of the tribunal of the archdiocese of Concepción and treasurer of the Chilean association of canon law. He was appointed as bishop of Copiapó on 25 July 2014, and received episcopal ordination on the following 18 October. On 23 March 2019 he was nominated Apostolic Administrator sede vacante of the Archdiocese of Santiago, Chile to which he was subsequently appointed Archbishop on 27 December 2019.
Bishop Cornelius Sim – Apostolic Vicar of Brunei
Bishop Sim was born in Seria (Brunei) on 16 September 1951. He pursued a degree in engineering at Dundee University in Scotland followed by a Masters in theology at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, USA. He was ordained a priest on 26 November 1989. After exercising the priestly ministry in various parishes, he was appointed Vicar General of Brunei in 1995 and subsequently Apostolic Prefect on 21 November 1997. On 20 October 2004, St John Paul II elevated the territory to an Apostolic Vicariate and appointed him its first Apostolic Vicar.
Archbishop Augusto Paolo Lojudice – Archbishop of Siena-Colle Val d’Elsa-Montalcino
The bishop-elect was born in Rome in 1964, and was ordained a priest in 1989. He holds a licentiate in theology, with a specialization in fundamental theology. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar and parish priest, spiritual father of the Pontifical Roman Major Seminary, secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Migrations of the Italian Episcopal Conference. He was appointed as titular bishop of Alba Marittima in 2015. He has served as Secretary for the Italian Bishops’ Conference Commission for Migration. He became the Archbishop of Siena on 6 May 2019.
Father Mauro Gambetti, O.F.M. Conv. – Guardian of the Sacro Convento in Assisi
Father Gambetti was born in Castel San Pietro Terme (Bologna), in 1965 and pursued studies in mechanical engineering at the University of Bologna. He entered the Conventual Franciscans in 1992 and was ordained a priest in 2000. He exercised various ministries in Longiano, Emilia-Romagna.
He became Provincial of the Conventual Franciscans of Emilia-Romagna in 2009 and subsequently became the Guardian of the Sacro Convento of St Francis in Assisi in 2013. He was elected President of the Intermediterranean Federation of Provincial Ministers of the Conventual Friars Minor in September 2017.
Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel – Bishop Emeritus of San Cristobal de las Casas
Bishop Esquivel was born on 1 May 1940 in Chiltepec (Mexico). He pursued philosophical and theological studies at the Seminary in Toluca and the Pontifical University of Salamanca in Spain and received a licentiate in Dogmatic Theology. He was ordained a priest on 25 August 1963. On 7 February 1991 he was appointed Bishop of Tapachula.
During his time as Bishop of Tapachula, he also served as Secretary General of CELAM. Pope John Paul II appointed him Bishop of San Cristóbal de Las Casas on 31 March 31 200 where he remained until he resigned on 3 November 2017.
Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, Former Nunzio Apostolico and Permanent Observer Emeritus to the United Nations and Specialized Agencies in Geneva
Archbishop Tomasi was born on 12 October 1940 in Casoni di Mussolente (Italy). He studied both in Italy and in the United States where he was ordained on 31 May 1965 as a Scalabrinian Father. He received a Doctorate in Sociology from Fordham University in New York. He served as Provincial Superior of the Scalabrinians as well. From 1983 to 1987 he served as Director of the Office for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees of the United States Bishop’s Conference.
From 1989 to 1996 he was Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees. He became the Apostolic Nuncio of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Observer to the African Union in 1996, Apostolic Nuncio in Giubuti in 1999, and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and Specialized Agencies in Geneva in 2003, an office he carried out until 13 February 2016. On 9 April 2016, Pope Francis appointed him a member of the former Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace which is now the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap. – Preacher of the Papal Household
Father Raniero Cantalamessa is a Franciscan Capuchin Catholic Priest. Born in Ascoli Piceno, Italy, 22 July 1934, ordained priest in 1958. Divinity Doctor (Fribourg 1962) and Doctor in classical literature (Milan 1966). Former Ordinary Professor of History of Ancient Christianity and Director of the Department of Religious Sciences at the Catholic University of Milan. Member of the International Theological Commission (1975-1981) and for 12 years member of the Catholic Delegation for the dialogue with the Pentecostal Churches.
In 1979 he resigned his teaching position to become a full time preacher of the Gospel. In 1980 he was appointed by Pope John Paul II Preacher to the Papal Household and confirmed in that position by pope Benedict XVI in 2005, and by Pope Francis in 2013. In this capacity he preaches a weekly sermon in Advent and Lent in the presence of the Pope, the cardinals, bishops an prelates of the Roman Curia and the general superiors of religious orders. He is also frequently invited to speak in many countries around the world, both to Catholic and Protestant audiences.
He has received an Honorary degree in Laws from Notre Dame University (Indiana), in Sciences of communication from the University of Macerata (Italy) and in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville (Ohio). In addition to his early scholar books on patristic Christology, Easter in the Ancient Church and other topics he has published numerous books on spirituality fruit of his preaching to the papal Household, translated in more than twenty foreign languages.
Msgr Enrico Feroci – Rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love in Castel di Leva
Msgr Feroci was born on 27 August 1940 in Pizzoli (Italy). He entered the Minor Seminary in Rome at the age of 11 years and was ordained a priest in 1965. He became vice-rector of the Minor Seminary in 1968. He then carried various ministries in the Diocese of Rome. He became a Chaplain of His Holiness, or a Monsignore, in 1995. He also served as a Consultor for the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees.
In 2017 Rome’s Cardinal Vicar appointed Msgr Feroci the President of the Public Clerical Association associated with the Shrine of the Madonna of Divine Love, and a Canon of the Papal Basilica of St John Lateran. In 2019 he was appointed pastor of the Parish of Our Lady of Divine Love in Castel di Leva.