All the Cardinals of the world are in Rome, first time in years, to reflect on the pope’s recent constitution on the Roman curia, Praedicate Evangelium.
In the eighth consistory of Pope Francis’ pontificate, on August 27, Pope Francis creates 20 new cardinals of whom 16 are under the age of 80 one of them just 48 years old.
On May 29 Pope had named 21 Cardinals. One of them, Bishop Luc Van Looy, 80, Ghent, Belgium, later declined to accept the post.
In the public consistory, the pope will give each new cardinal: a scarlet biretta — the “red hat” — whose color signifies a cardinal’s willingness to shed his blood for the faith; a gold ring, a sign of their special bond with the Church of Rome; and a scroll testifying to his new office and containing the name of his titular church in Rome.
On August 29-30 Pope will discuss the the reform of the Roman Curia based on his apostolic constitution “Praedicate evangelium” (Preach the Gospel) on Curia reforms, an important focus of this pontificate.
The consistory will end on August 30 with Mass with all the new cardinals and the College of Cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica.
The College of Cardinals - An Overview
The world has today 132 Cardinals of voting age, chosen from the different continents of the world. While 115 cardinals each voted in the Conclaves of April 2005, March 2013, currently there are 132 Cardinal electors after the August 27 consistory; 6 of them will turn 80 by December 2022.
Under Pope Francis, the college has become truly international. Today there are more than 90 countries represented in the entire college and 71 countries among the electors. That’s an increase from 2005, when the117 eligible cardinal electors came from 53 countries.
Although largest number of Cardinals still come from European continent with 54 cardinals constitution 40 of electors, South America (22) and Asia (21), the new centers of global Christianity come second and third in numbers. For the first time Asia has overcome Africa in the number of Cardinals.
Italy (20) still continue to lead in the number of Cardinals, with USA (10), Brazil and Spain (6 each), India and France (5 each) and Canada (4) cardinals electors.
The 20 New Cardinals created of the August 27 Consistory:
1. Archbishop Arthur Roche – prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments;
2. Archbishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik – prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy;
3. Archbishop Fernando Vérgez Alzaga L.C. – president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, and president of the Governorate of Vatican City State;
4. Archbishop Jean-Marc Aveline – metropolitan of Marseille, France;
5. Bishop Peter Ebere Okpaleke of Ekwulobia, Nigeria.
6. Archbishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, O.F.M., of Manaus, Brazil;
7. Archbishop Filipe Neri António Sebastião do Rosário Ferrão of Goa and Damão, India;
8. Bishop Robert Walter McElroy of San Diego, United States of America;
9. Archbishop Virgilio Do Carmo Da Silva, S.D.B., of Dili, East Timor;
10. Bishop Oscar Cantoni of Como, Italia;
11. Archbishop Anthony Poola of Hyderabad, India;
12. Archbishop Paulo Cezar Costa, metropolitan of the archdiocese of Brasília, Brazil;
13. Bishop Richard Kuuia Baawobr M. Afr., of Wa, Ghana;
14. Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye of Singapore, Singapore;
15. Archbishop Adalberto Martínez Flores, metropoiltan of Asunción, Paraguay;
16. Bishop Giorgio Marengo, I.M.C., prefect Apostolic of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
There are three members of the Curia: Arthur Roche, prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments; Lazzaro You Heung Sik, prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy; and Fernando Vergez, President of the Governatorate of Vatican City State.
Pope Francis' final list includes four new cardinals older than 80 and therefore excluded from attending a future conclave.
1. Archbishop Jorge Enrique Jiménez Carvajal, emeritus of Cartagena, Colombia;
2. Archbishop Arrigo Miglio, emeritus of Cagliari, Italy;
3. Rev Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda S.J., – professor of theology;
3. Rev Msgr. Fortunato Frezza – canon of Saint Peter.
With the creation of six new cardinals for Asia on 27 August, the number of cardinals born or carrying out their ministry in Asia rises to 21 among the 132 electors who could be called to take part in a future conclave for the election of a pontiff.
This reflects the two priorities of Pope Francis, namely, evangelization and attention to the peripheries.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.