Pope calls new cardinals to be agents of unity in divided world
Cardinal Blase Cupich, and Bishop Robert Gruss, Rapid City, in the sacristy of Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi before Mass. A group of 32 people from the Diocese of Rapid City made a pilgrimage to Rome to attend the consistory. (Courtesy photo)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Catholic Church’s 17 new cardinals must dedicate their lives to being ministers of forgiveness and reconciliation in a world — and sometimes a church — often marked by hostility and division, Pope Francis said. Even Catholics are not immune from “the virus of polarization and animosity,” the pope told the new cardinals, and “we need to take care lest such attitudes find a place in our hearts.” Creating 17 new cardinals from 14 nations Nov. 19, the pope said the College of Cardinals — and the Catholic Church itself — must be a sign for the world that differences of nationality, skin color, language and social class do not make people enemies, but brothers and sisters with different gifts to offer. Three of the new cardinals created during the prayer service in St. Peter’s Basilica were from the United States: Cardinals Blase J. Cupich of Chicago; Kevin J. Farrell, prefect of the new Vatican office for laity, family and life; and Joseph W. Tobin, whom the pope asked to move from being archbishop of Indianapolis to archbishop of Newark, New Jersey. Only 16 of the new cardinals were present for the ceremony. The Vatican said 87-year-old Cardinal Sebastian Koto Khoarai, the retired bishop of Mohale’s Hoek, Lesotho, was created a cardinal although he was unable to travel to Rome.