FAITH

Pope names 13 new cardinals, includes first Black US prelate

Oct 25, 2020, 10:45 AM
Pope names 13 new cardinals, includes first Black US prelate...
FILE - This Sunday, June 2, 2019, file photo shows Washington D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory posed for a portrait following mass at St. Augustine Church in Washington. Pope Francis has named 13 new cardinals, including Washington D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who would become the first Black U.S. prelate to earn the coveted red cap. In a surprise announcement from his studio window to faithful standing below in St. Peter’s Square, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, Francis said the churchmen would be elevated to a cardinal’s rank in a ceremony on Nov. 28. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday named 13 new cardinals, including Washington D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who would become the first Black U.S. prelate to earn the coveted red hat.

In a surprise announcement from his studio window to faithful standing below in St. Peter’s Square, Francis said the churchmen would be elevated to a cardinal’s rank in a ceremony on Nov. 28.

Francis asked for prayers so the new cardinals “may help me in my ministry as bishop of Rome for the good of all God’s faithful holy people.”

The selection of Gregory won praise from LGBT advocates in the United States, days after Pope Francis grabbed headlines for voicing support for civil unions for gay couples.

Other new cardinals include an Italian who is the long-time papal preacher at the Vatican, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, who is a Franciscan friar; the Kigali, Rwanda, Archbishop Antoine Kambanda; the Capiz, Philippines, Archbishop Jose Feurte Advincula, and the Santiago, Chile, Archbishop Celestino Aos Braco.

Another Franciscan who was tapped is Friar Mauro Gambetti, in charge of the Sacred Convent in Assisi. The pope, when elected in 2013, chose St. Francis of Assisi as his namesake saint. Earlier this month, the pontiff journeyed to that hill town in Umbria to sign an encyclical, or important church teaching document, about brotherhood.

Gambetti was so surprised, at first he thought the pope was joking when he heard he was named, convent spokesperson the Rev. Enzo Fortunato said. Gambetti quickly pledged to “put himself at the service of humanity at a time so difficult to us all,” including offering compassion to the needy, Fortunato said in reference to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a reflection of the pope’s stress on helping those in need, Francis also named the former director of the Rome Catholic charity, Caritas, the Rev. Enrico Feroci, to be a cardinal.

The prestigious Washington archdiocese traditionally brings elevation to cardinal’s rank, so the appointment of Gregory, 73, last year by the pope had positioned him to be tapped for the honor.

Still, the timing of his rise to cardinal is noteworthy, coming in the thick of increased U.S. attention on racial injustice the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minnesota this year. Gregory was publicly critical of U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to the St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington a day after civil rights demonstrators were forcibly cleared from a square to facilitate the president’s visit to an Episcopal church in the U.S. capital.

Gregory has had his pulse on factions in the U.S. Catholic Church, which has both strong conservative and liberal veins since he served three times as the head of the U.S. Conference of Bishops.

Conservative prelates in the United States have openly lambasted Francis for his more liberal stands, including his support for same-sex civil unions that came out in a new documentary this week.

Gregory said in a statement that becoming a cardinal would allow him to work more closely with the pontiff in caring for the Catholic Church.

While Gregory headed the Atlanta diocese earlier in his career, he wrote positively in a column about his conversations with Catholic parents of LGBTQ children. An advocate for LGBTQ Catholics, Francis DeBernardo, told The Associated Press that choosing Gregory for a cardinal’s post signals Francis wants “LGBTQ people to be part of the church, and he wants church people to respect them.”

DeBernardo linked the appointment to Francis’ recently reported comments supporting civil unions for same-sex couples.

Nine of the new cardinals are younger than 80, and thus eligible to elect the next pontiff in a secret conclave. Some cardinals head powerful Vatican offices, and pontiffs frequently turn to cardinals for advice.

No details were immediately given by the Vatican about the formal ceremony to make the churchmen cardinals, especially in view of travel restrictions involving many countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As he has in other groups of cardinals he tapped in his papacy, Francis in this selection reflected the global nature of the Catholic Church and his flock of 1.2 billion Catholics.

Others receiving the honor include a Maltese prelate, Monsignor Mario Grech; Monsignor Marcello Semeraro, an Italian serving as prefect of the Vatican office which runs the saint-making process; Bishop Cornelius Sim, a Brunei native who serves as apostolic vicar of Brunei; the Italian archbishop of Siena and nearby towns in Tuscany, Augusto Lojudice; the retired bishop of San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, Monsignor Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel; and an Italian former Vatican diplomat, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi.

Churchmen over 80 who are named cardinals are chosen to honor their life of service to the church. Those in this batch too old to vote in a conclave are Cantalamessa, Tomasi, Feroci and Arizmendi Esquivel.
___
David Crary in New York and Elana Schor in Washington, D.C., contributed reporting.

Today’s Top Stories

Faith

praying football coach...
JESSICA GRESKO Associated Press

Supreme Court sides with coach who sought to pray after game

The court ruled 6-3 along ideological lines for the coach. The justices said the coach's prayer was protected by the First Amendment.
3 days ago
downtown slc general conference temple square...
Simone Seikaly

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reacts to Roe v. Wade

SALT LAKE CITY — Leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have responded to the Supreme Court decision on Friday that overturned Roe v. Wade. Their statement began by reasserting a belief in the sanctity of human life. It also listed possible exceptions for members who may seek an abortion, which include […]
6 days ago
supreme court. it just ended remain in mexico policy...
MARK SHERMAN Associated Press

Justices rule religious schools must get Maine tuition aid

The most immediate effect of the court's ruling beyond Maine probably will be felt next door in Vermont, which has a similar program.
9 days ago
Photo credit: Just Add Chocolate Facebook page....
Lindsay Aerts

Chocolate shop apologizes, renames Book of Mormon-themed Twinkies

A Utah County chocolate shop has renamed its Book of Mormon-theme Twinkies after it was accused of being racist. The shop has also apologized.
20 days ago
hill cumorah monument...
Mark Jones and Aimee Cobabe

UPDATE: Suspect arraigned for reckless endangerment after gunshots fired at Hill Cumorah Visitors’ Center

No injuries were reported Wednesday after gunshots were heard near the Hill Cumorah Visitors Center in New York. Police say roughly 22 shots were fired.
22 days ago
Ground Broken for Burley Idaho Temple...
Waverly Golden

Ground broken for Burley Idaho Temple

The new temple will sit on a 10.1-acre land owned by the Funk family. Plans have been in place since April 2021 for the new Temple.
26 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Pope names 13 new cardinals, includes first Black US prelate