WelCom October 2019:
Pope Francis named 13 new cardinals at the end the Angelus prayer in St Peter’s Square on 1 September 2019. The Pope said he would bestow red hats on the new cardinals on 5 October in a ceremony called a consistory.
The Pope’s choices highlight some of his main concerns, including the developing world, advocacy for migrants, the needs those living on society’s margins, and his emphasis on outreach to Islam.
Consistent with his previous choices, half of the 10 new cardinal electors are from developing or poor countries like Cuba, Congo, Guatemala and Morocco or places where Christians are a minority like Indonesia. Just one is from Italy and none are from the US.
The new cardinals include Archbishop Matteo Zuppi of Bologna, who wrote the foreword to the Italian translation of Fr James Martin sj’s book Building a Bridge; Fr Michael Czerny sj, under-secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development; Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, an English expert on Christian-Muslim relations; Bishop Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, a Spanish scholar of Islam who runs the Vatican office for interreligious dialogue; as well as the archbishops of Rabat, Morocco, and Jakarta, Indonesia. A former head of the interreligious office, British Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, an 82-year-old Islam expert who also served as papal envoy to Egypt, will be an honorary cardinal.
The October 5 ceremony will be Francis’ sixth consistory for the creation of new cardinals since his election as pontiff in March 2013. He last created new cardinals in June 2018.