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Pope Francis creates 21 new cardinals

World Information

With Saturday’s ceremony, Francis can have named 99 of the 137 cardinals who’re below age 80 and thus eligible to vote in a future conclave to elect his successor.

Cardinals greet one another as they look forward to a consistory to begin in St. Peter’s Sq. at The Vatican the place Pope Francis will create 21 new cardinals, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. (AP Picture/Riccardo De Luca)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis created 21 new cardinals at a ritual-filled ceremony Saturday, together with key figures on the Vatican and within the discipline who will assist enact his reforms and cement his legacy as he enters an important new section in working the Catholic Church.

On a crisp sunny morning full of cheers from St. Peter’s Sq., Francis additional expanded his affect on the School of Cardinals who will assist him govern and at some point elect his successor: With Saturday’s additions, almost three-quarters of the voting-age “princes of the church” owe their crimson hats to the Argentine Jesuit.

In his directions to the brand new cardinals initially of the service, Francis mentioned their selection and geographic range would serve the church like musicians in an orchestra, the place typically they play solos, typically as an ensemble.

“Range is critical; it’s indispensable. Nonetheless, every sound should contribute to the widespread design,” Francis advised them. “That is why mutual listening is crucial: every musician should take heed to the others.”

Among the many new cardinals was the controversial new head of the Vatican’s doctrine workplace, Victor Manuel Fernandez, and the Chicago-born missionary now liable for vetting bishop candidates across the globe, Robert Prevost.

Additionally getting into the unique membership have been the Vatican’s ambassadors to the US and Italy, two necessary diplomatic posts the place the Holy See has a eager curiosity in reforming the church hierarchy. Leaders of the church in geopolitical hotspots like Hong Kong and Jerusalem, fragile communities like Juba, South Sudan, and mawkish favorites like Cordoba, Argentina, crammed out the roster.

Francis’ promotions of Prevost and his ambassador to Washington, French Cardinal Christophe Pierre, have been clear indicators that he has his eye on shifting the steadiness of energy within the U.S. hierarchy, the place some conservative bishops have strongly resisted his reforms. Between them, Pierre and Prevost are liable for proposing new bishop candidates and overseeing any investigations into downside ones already in place.

“I feel I do have some insights into the church in the US,” Prevost mentioned after the ceremony throughout a welcome reception within the Apostolic Palace. “So the necessity to have the ability to advise, work with Pope Francis and to take a look at the challenges that the church in the US is going through, I hope to have the ability to reply to them with a wholesome dialogue.”

The ceremony befell days earlier than Francis opens an enormous assembly of bishops and lay Catholics on charting the church’s future, the place hot-button points reminiscent of girls’s roles within the church, LGBTQ+ Catholics and priestly celibacy are up for dialogue.

The Oct. 4-29 synod is the primary of two classes – the second comes subsequent 12 months — that in some ways may cement Francis’ legacy as he seeks to make the church a spot the place all are welcomed, the place pastors take heed to their flocks and accompany them somewhat than choose them.

Newly elected Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Religion, proper, receives his biretta from Pope Francis as he’s elevated in St. Peter’s Sq. at The Vatican, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. (AP Picture/Riccardo De Luca)

A number of of the brand new cardinals are voting members of the synod and have made clear they share Francis’ imaginative and prescient of a church that’s extra concerning the folks within the pews than the hierarchy, and that artistic change is critical. Amongst them is Fernandez, generally known as the “pope’s theologian” and maybe Francis’ most consequential Vatican appointment in his 10-year hold forth.

In his letter naming Fernandez as prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Religion, Francis made clear he needed his fellow Argentine to supervise a radical break from the previous, saying the previous Holy Workplace typically resorted to “immoral strategies” to implement its will.

Relatively than condemn and choose, Francis mentioned he needed a doctrine workplace that guards the religion and offers folks hope. He additionally made clear Fernandez wouldn’t must cope with intercourse abuse circumstances, saying the workplace’s self-discipline part may deal with that file.

It was a much-debated determination given Fernandez himself has admitted he made errors dealing with a case whereas he was bishop in La Plata, Argentina, and that the size of the issue globally has lengthy cried out for authoritative, high-ranking management.

On the eve of the consistory to make Fernandez a cardinal, clergy abuse survivors together with a La Plata sufferer rallied close to the Vatican, calling on Francis to rescind the nomination.

“No bishop who has coated up little one intercourse crimes and ignored and dismissed victims of clergy abuse in his diocese ought to be working the workplace that oversees, investigates, and prosecutes clergy intercourse offenders from around the globe, or be made a cardinal,” mentioned Julieta Añazco, the La Plata survivor, in response to a press release from the Finish Clergy Abuse.

With Saturday’s ceremony, Francis can have named 99 of the 137 cardinals who’re below age 80 and thus eligible to vote in a future conclave to elect his successor. Whereas not all are cookie-cutter proteges of the 86-year-old reigning pontiff, many share Francis’ pastoral emphasis versus the doctrinaire-minded cardinals typically chosen by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

Such an enormous proportion of Francis-nominated cardinals virtually ensures {that a} future pope will both be one in all his personal cardinals or one who managed to safe Franciscan cardinal votes to guide the church after he’s gone, suggesting a sure continuity in priorities.

Europe nonetheless has probably the most voting-age cardinals with 52, adopted by the Americas with 39 and Asia with 24.

The ceremony formally putting in them adopted a ritual through which every man takes an oath to obey the pope, stay trustworthy to Christ and serve the church. Francis reminded them that they have been sporting crimson as an indication that they have to be robust “even to the shedding of blood” to unfold the religion.

One of many 21 new cardinals couldn’t make it due to poor well being: Cardinal Luis Pascual Dri, a 96-year-old Franciscan from the pope’s native Buenos Aires. He is among the churchmen over age 80 who can’t vote in a conclave however was elevated as an indication of gratitude for his service to the church.

The 59-year-old archbishop of Juba, Cardinal Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla, is among the youthful ones and just lately hosted Francis throughout his February go to to South Sudan. He mentioned the area’s battle was a continuing concern for the church.

“This nation has been divided by warfare and ongoing warfare since 50 years in the past,” he mentioned. “Now we are attempting our greatest to deliver folks collectively.”

Related Press journalist Paolo Santalucia contributed to this report.