Serve God’s people, Pope tells new cardinals

The College of Cardinals now consists of 226 members, 125 of whom are eligible to vote in a future papal conclave

Vatican City: The best promotion a person can receive is to serve the person of Christ as seen in the least of his people, Pope Francis said at a ceremony for the creation of 14 cardinals on June 28.

“This is the highest honor that we can receive, the greatest promotion that can be awarded us: to serve Christ in God’s faithful people,” the Pope said at an ordinary consistory in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Speaking to the new and to the existing cardinals, he said credible authority stems from “sitting at the feet of others,” serving those “who are hungry, neglected, imprisoned, sick, suffering, addicted to drugs, cast aside… real people, each with his or her own life story and experiences, hopes and disappointments, hurts and wounds.”

“None of us must feel ‘superior’ to anyone,” he continued. “None of us should look down at others from above. The only time we can look at a person in this way is when we are helping them to stand up.”

The Pope reflected on a passage from the Gospel of Mark, which recalls when the disciples were walking on the road to Jerusalem, and Christ, walking ahead of them, made his third announcement of his impending passion and death.

In recalling this event, St. Mark, he noted, “does not shrink from disclosing secrets present in the hearts of the disciples: their quest of honors, jealousy, envy, intrigue, accommodation and compromise.”

Yet Christ does not worry about this, Francis said. He keeps walking, telling the disciples forcefully: “But it shall not be so among you; whoever would be great among you must be your servant.”

Christ teaches that conversion, change of heart, and reform of the Church should be carried out in the light of mission, he continued, pointing out the need to forget one’s own interests for the sake of upholding the Father’s – the dignity of every person.

He urged the cardinals to strive to always be ready to accompany and embrace their distressed brothers and sisters, and to avoid “useless wrangling about who is most important.”

“Only in this way, can the authority of the Shepherd have the flavor of the Gospel and not appear as ‘a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal’,” he said.

Following his homily, Pope Francis gave the proclamation creating the new cardinals. Afterward, each received their red biretta and cardinal’s ring. They were then assigned a titular church, which ties them to Rome.

Among the new cardinals is Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako of Babylon, who addressed Pope Francis on behalf of the new cardinals at the start of the ceremony.

The new cardinals from the Diocese of Rome and the Roman Curia are: Archbishop Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, prefect designate of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; Archbishop Kondrad Krajewski, papal almoner; and Archbishop Angelo De Donatis, Rome’s vicar general and archpriest of the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran.

From around the world are: Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Karachi; Bishop Antonio do Santos Marto of Leiria-Fatima; Archbishop Pedro Barreto of Huancayo; Archbishop Desire Tsarahazana of Tamatave; Archbishop Giuseppe Petrocchi of Aquila; and Archbishop Thomas Aquino Mango Maeda of Osaka.

The three new cardinals of non-voting age are Archbishop Emeritus Sergio Obeso Rivera of Xalapa, ; Prelate Emeritus Toribio Ticono Porco of Corocoro; and Claretian Fr. Aquilina Bocos Merino.

The new cardinals will concelebrate Mass with Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square June 29, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the patrons of Rome. At the Mass the Pope will also bestow the pallia on the new metropolitan archbishops appointed during the last year.

With the consistory, Pope Francis’ fifth, the College of Cardinals consists of 226 members, 125 of whom are below the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a future papal conclave. Pope Francis has created 59 cardinals.


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4 thoughts on “Serve God’s people, Pope tells new cardinals

  1. Earlier bishops suffixed their names with DD. It was presumed to be an abbreviation of Doctor of Divinity. It is actually Doulous Douli, which in Greek means Servant of the Servants. Hope the new cardinals will remember that

    1. Thank you for bringing that degree topic. In the olden days more than 60 years back, when some preachers preached the gospel, thousands came to follow Christ. Some of the names known in Kerala had hardly even 8th grade education.

      My daddy told me about two evangelists of Travancore who made great spiritual impact, and both of them had preached regularly at the well known Maramon Convention. They were Evangelist Kochukunju and Mammen. Both of them were not educated much. Evangelist Mammen was like a helper at the Home of a Marthoma Biship before the divine calling came upon him.

      But, now look at the letterheads. In the olden days B.D. was a rare ownership to the very few in the religious hierarchy; but now it is too hard to find anybody without Rev. Dr and the rest like M Th.- M. Div. etc. “B” letters in the letter heads are now fully outdated but the “D” has taken over. The degree printing business in the religious world is booming. In certain denominations, it is an absolute must that along with Rev., the Doctor is attached. How many hundreds of the Priests-Bishops and Pastors have their degrees from correspondence schools? The gospel is not preached to win souls for Christ, but some story telling and theological interpretations to entertain the audience by these ” Doctors”.

      I knew personally Pastor Ben Hadden of the First Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga, TN. He was a lawyer-Editor of the Miami Herald and worked for the CIA; never went to a Theological Institution. His broken marriage was restored when his wife went to hear Dr. Billy Graham in a Miami Crusade. As a changed person, she came home and patted on his shoulder after a long time. She took him for the Crusade and his life was changed. He never prepared a sermon, but will talk like he prepared the sermons earlier. Through his International T.V. Programme ” Changed Lives”, thousands of broken lives were restored.

  2. Pope Francis is giving a dire warning to the real followers of CHRIST to serve the poor.
    According to the OXFARM and WHO data, 1.2 billion people of the world are living with $ 1.25/day or less income, and 1/3 of them are in India.

    When a rich man came to JESUS in a hurry to be HIS follower, JESUS looked at him with compassion and said, sell everything and give to the poor, then come back and follow JESUS. He left the place disappointed.

    JESUS has repeated the word “poor” too many times and mentioned “the poor” are always with you. They are the real objects put in front us to worship GOD in a practical way through bearing their burdens. But the Church world has became a show place of mere pomp and luxury disregarding the repeated reminders of JESUS CHRIST.

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