Hong Kong and Jerusalem prelates among Pope Francis’ 21 new cardinals

As Pope Francis continues to leave his mark on the body of clerics who will choose his successor, he announced on Sunday that he has chosen 21 new cardinals. Among them are prelates from Jerusalem and Hong Kong, both of which have only a small percentage of residents who identify as Catholic. During his traditional weekly address to the public in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope announced his selections and said the ceremony to officially install clerics as cardinals will take place on September 30. Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández, 59, of La Plata, Argentina, has just been appointed by Pope Francis to lead the powerful Holy See office charged with ensuring doctrinal orthodoxy and overseeing the handling of allegations sexual abuse against clergy around the world. Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández is one of the many prelates who currently hold or are about to assume important positions in the Vatican. Among those wiretapped are several prelates who hold or are about to assume important positions in the Vatican.

Hong Kong Bishop Stephen Sau-yan Chow, 64, and Monsignor Pierbattista Pizzaballa, 58, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, are also among the new cardinals. Chow is the senior bishop of Hong Kong and Pizzaballa is the senior Vatican official in the Middle East. These two clerics are responsible for leading congregations in geopolitical regions that are of significant interest to the Vatican. During his address on Sunday, preceded by the reading of the list of new cardinals, Pope Francis expressed his wish that the Israeli and Palestinian authorities engage in a “direct dialogue” in order to put an end to the “spiral of violence”. . “He was referring to the recent violent conflicts that have taken place.

Francis made many references to the struggles endured by the Christian minority in the Middle East over the past decades. Pizzaballa, an Italian prelate who is the Holy Land’s top Catholic cleric, said the region’s 2,000-year-old Christian community was coming under increasing attack in an interview with The Associated Press in April. He said the most right-wing government in Israel’s history encourages extremists who have harassed clergy and vandalized religious property at an accelerating rate. Pizzaballa is the best Catholic churchman in the Holy Land. The communist-ruled nation’s assertion that it has the power to appoint bishops and the imprisonment of priests who professed devotion to the pope have been sources of tension between the Vatican and China for decades, alternating with periods of improved links. These issues were at the center of the dispute. Earlier this year, the bishop of Hong Kong, who like Francis is a member of the Jesuit order, made the first trip to mainland China by a prelate in his office in nearly 30 years.

Chow told reporters on Monday that it was almost surprising to hear the news. “This is a new mission – a mission that God entrusted to me through the pope,” he said at the time. “It’s a mission to bring peace to the world.” Francis noted that the appointment of cardinals from all over the world “expresses the universality of the Church which continues to announce the merciful love of God to all people on earth.” He made this statement when announcing the names of the cardinals. The pope is advised by his cardinal advisers on matters of teaching and administration, particularly on the Vatican’s scandal-ridden finances. Cardinals serve in this capacity. However, the most important responsibility they have is to meet in private conclaves to choose the next pope. During his 10-year reign as pope, Francis appointed nine new batches of cardinals each time. Even before this most recent group was nominated, he had already named the vast majority of those eligible to elect the next pontiff – those under the age of 80. Following the most recent appointments, the total number of cardinals who meet this requirement has risen to 137. This indicates that clerics who will vote for who will follow Francis, in the event of his resignation or death, will be increasingly supportive of his values, priorities and points of view and will also share its vision for the future. of the Catholic Church.

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