Francis' new advisers come from all parts of the world

Francis' new advisers come from all parts of the world

On Sunday, Pope Francis announced he would elevate 13 clergy to the rank of cardinal. The men, who on 28. November to join the College of Cardinals, the pope's most important advisory body, come from all parts of the world.

They come from Rwanda and the Philippines, Chile and Mexico, the United States and Italy. Nine of them will belong to the circle of papal electors. An overview of the candidates:

Mario Grech (63) Suggests a breath of fresh air for a synodical church leadership. Maltese has been secretary general of the Synod of Bishops since mid-September, making him responsible for organizing bishops' meetings on changing topics. Already in autumn 2019 Grech was involved in the execution of the Amazon Synod. A lawyer and canon lawyer who has been bishop in Malta since 2005, he has shown himself to be a man after the Pope's own heart on various occasions: he opposed populism and backed the German Sea-Watch sea rescuers, and his recommendations on how to deal with remarried divorcees found favor in the Vatican. Since July he sits in the papal ecumenical council. In a 2018 interview, Grech expressed discomfort with black-and-white thinking, saying it was the "gray areas where we have to look".

Marcello Semeraro (73) receives the title of cardinal mainly because of his new office as prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Only on 15. October he took over the post from Giovanni Angelo Becciu, who resigned unexpectedly. Bishop of Albano near Rome since 2004, Semeraro, a dogmatist from Lecce in southern Italy, has shown a sensitive attitude to questions of pastoral care for divorced people and abuse prevention. How much the pope trusts him is shown by the fact that in 2013 he appointed Semeraro secretary on the Cardinals' Council for the reform of the Curia.

Antoine Kambanda (61) directly experienced the aftermath of the 1994 genocide in his native Rwanda. All but one of his brothers were killed. Kambanda, who was born in eastern Rwanda, grew up in Kenya. He returned to Rwanda to study. Ordained a priest in 1990. In the mid-1990s, he studied in Rome before taking charge of Caritas in Rwanda's capital, Kigali, and teaching moral theology in Nyakibanda. In May 2013, Pope Francis appointed him bishop of Kibungo, and in 2018 he put him in charge of the archdiocese of Kigali. When Kambanda took office there, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame announced that the state would cooperate more closely with the Catholic Church in the future, also with regard to coming to terms with the genocide.

Wilton Gregory (72) As archbishop of Washington, he carries weight in church politics – but also a mortgage: The resignation of his predecessor, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, in October 2018 was overshadowed by the abuse scandal; the previous incumbent, Theodore McCarrick, even had to resign his cardinal's hat and priesthood because of moral misconduct. However, Gregory, a Chicago-born African-American, is considered as persuasive as he is inclusive. In 2001, the U.S. bishops elected him as their first black president for four years; in the fight against sexual abuse, he showed a clear profile.

Jose Fuerte Advincula (68) is a hitherto rather inconspicuous representative of the Catholic clergy in the Philippines. By making Advincula a cardinal, the pope strengthens the Philippine church, which has repeatedly come into conflict with authoritarian President Rodrigo Duterte. Within the national bishops' conference, Advincula has for years been committed to the rights of indigenous people, an ie particularly close to Francis' heart. Advincula has led the archdiocese of Capiz in the central Philippines since 2012; previously he was bishop of San Carlos from 2001. Ordained priest in 1976, the clergyman studied psychology and canon law, including at the Pontifical Angelicum University in Rome.

Celestino Aos Braco (75) Took up the heavy lifting in Santiago de Chile in March 2019. Santiago's last two archbishops, Cardinals Ricardo Ezzati and Francisco Errazuriz, were discredited by massive cover-up allegations; both are under judicial investigation. A former abuse commissioner of the archdiocese turned himself in for sexual assaults. Conditions in Santiago are just the tip of the Church's crisis in Chile. Aos strives, also in exchange with the Pope, to regain credibility. Yet he acts fearlessly and without airs – as befits a son of Spain's Pamplona bullfighting region and a Capuchin friar

Cornelius Sim (69) came as a "lateral entrant" into church services. A native of the Sultanate of Brunei and educated in Scotland, the petroleum engineer first made a career with the Shell Group before studying theology in the U.S. and being ordained a priest in 1989. In 1997 Sim became Apostolic Prefect in Brunei. When Pope John Paul II. In 2004, elevating the prefecture to the rank of apostolic vicariate, he made then-prefect Sim the first bishop for the oil-rich small state in Southeast Asia. About 8.7 percent of the approximately 465.000 inhabitants of Brunei are Christians. The majority of the population professes Islam.

Augusto Lojudice (56) With his episcopal see of Siena, was not necessarily among the cardinal candidates. However, he is a shepherd after the heart of the Pope. Since 2015 auxiliary bishop in his hometown of Rome, Lojudice made a name for himself especially as an advocate for marginalized social groups. Within the Italian Bishops' Conference, he is secretary of the Commission for Migration. He repeatedly took a stand against the violent eviction of Roma camps or the expulsion of migrants. When the post of papal deputy in the diocese of Rome became vacant in 2017, Lojudice was considered a candidate; instead, it became the tranquil Tuscany bishopric. Now he moves into the College of Cardinals as the fourth youngest member.

Mauro Gambetti (as of Tuesday 55) Is the youngest cardinal candidate on the pope's list. He studied engineering before joining the Franciscan Friars Minor in 1998. The religious, who comes from near Bologna, was ordained a priest in 2000 and has been active, among other things, in youth ministry. From 2005, he was repeatedly entrusted with leadership functions. Since 2013, Gambetti has been custodian of the Convent of Assisi, the community's mother monastery. In this capacity, Gambetti also appeared in the German media in 2018: when the Franciscans honored Chancellor Angela Merkel with the "Lamp of Peace".

Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel (80) repeatedly made himself a mouthpiece for the concerns of indigenous people. For that reason alone, Arizmendi, who led the Mexican diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas from 2000 until his retirement in 2017, should be a man to Pope Francis' liking. It was not least thanks to the contribution of the liturgy expert that Francis declared the Aztec Nahuatl the liturgical language during his visit to Mexico in 2016. On political ies, Arizmendi sometimes tried unconventional approaches. For example, in a CBA interview, he called a "medical and regulated use" of drugs an option to control the drug abuse rampant in Mexico and the crime that accompanies it. In matters of sexual morality, however, the churchman is more conservative: marriage, he says, is reserved for the traditional family.

Silvano Tomasi (80) Has dedicated his life to migrants and diplomacy. A religious priest from northern Italy, he studied sociology at Fordham University in New York, where he helped establish the Center for Migration Studies, a think tank. Director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Refugee and Migration Office since 1983, he was appointed by the pope as secretary of the Vatican's Council for Migrants in 1989. In 1996, he moved into diplomacy: Tomasi became nuncio to Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti, and finally, in 2003, permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations in Geneva. After his retirement in 2016, he continues to work at the Vatican's Office for Development and Human Rights and speaks out – firmly on the matter, moderately in tone.

Raniero Cantalamessa (86) has a delicate task: to speak to the conscience of the Pope. Every Advent and Lent, the Capuchin preacher of the papal household gives spiritual talks for the Curia's leaders, and on Good Friday he also preaches the homily in St. Peter's Basilica. Without official power, only with the power of the word, the unpretentious white-bearded religious trims the course of the Church. Cantalamessa learned just how sensitive that can be in 2010, when he compared sweeping attacks on the church to anti-Semitic incitement in the abuse scandal. Last Good Friday, the versatile professor of ancient church history and patristics addressed the question of God in the face of the Corona pandemic – one of the most difficult topics of his 40 years as a court preacher.

Enrico Feroci (80) Is a bit of a surprise in the lineup of new cardinals. His decades of work as a parish priest, but above all his social commitment and his work as director of the Roman Caritas Association will have drawn Pope Francis' attention to him. Born in Pizzoli in Abruzzo, Feroci was ordained a priest in 1965. Since last year he has been working in the parish of Santa Maria del Divino Amore in the district of Castel di Leva, which belongs to Rome.

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Christina Cherry
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