‘I am a pastor, not a prince.’
This was expressed by His Beatitude Louis Raphaël I Sako regarding his being named cardinal, as he along with other future cardinals shared their thoughts with Zenit and other journalists in the Vatican this week.
The Consistory to create new cardinals was today June 28, 2018. During Pope Francis’ Regina Caeli address on May 20, 2018, the Pope announced the upcoming consistory and the 14 who would become cardinals around the events for the June 29 Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.
The new Cardinals from around the world including Iraq, Pakistan, Portugal, Peru, Madagascar, Italy, Poland, Mexico, and Japan. Zenit spoke to some of the cardinals in the Vatican in these days.
Patriarch Sako sees being a cardinal as nothing more than service. “I am a cardinal, a pastor, not a prince,” he underscored. He stressed that being named cardinal made a significant impact on the people of Iraq. It lets the nation’s people know they “are not isolated” and that the Holy Father “is very close to them.”
While saying he sees a better future ahead for Iraq, he expressed that for the time being a papal trip to the nation is not in the cards. However, he hopes eventually, even if for a day trip–which could include a Mass in Erbil–could become more feasible.
When speaking to Archbishop Ladaria, the head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, he shared his surprise when he learned of his nomination. He noted that as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he sees his role to advise the Pope as cardinal to have at its heart “to promote the faith.”
“To promote faith,” he expressed, “means to protect it. This is our program, not another. This is what the Holy See, and the Pope, and those who have come before him, have indicated to us.”
Archbishop Becciu, 70, who has served as the Substitute within the Vatican’s Secretary of State for the last seven years but was recently appointed as prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Saints, when asked whether he expected to become cardinal responded: “I expected it. Traditionally, the role of Substitute was named cardinal. However, we have seen that Pope Francis has deviated from some of these traditions, those where certain roles or places that traditionally were given the porpora, were in fact named. Thus, in anything could have happened.”
When asked his opinion on the effectiveness of Vatican reform, he noted, “it is too early to tell.”
Moreover, Archbishop Petrocchi of Aquila, in Abruzzo, near Rome, joked that his unexpected appointment was an example of the Pope choosing “from the peripheries.”
Those Pope Francis had chosen to become Cardinals are: His Beatitude Louis Raphaël I Sako – Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon; His Excellency Luis Ladaria –Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; His Excellency Angelo De Donatis – Vicar General of Rome; His Excellency Giovanni Angelo Becciu – Substitute of the Secretary of State and Special Delegate for the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; His Excellency Konrad Krajewski – Almoner of the Office of Papal Charities; His Excellency Joseph Coutts – Archbishop of Karachi; His Excellency António dos Santos Marto – Bishop of Leiria-Fátima; His Excellency Pedro Barreto – Archbishop of Huancayo; His Excellency Desiré Tsarahazana – Archbishop of Toamasina; His Excellency Giuseppe Petrocchi – Archbishop of L’Aquila; His Excellency Thomas Aquinas Manyo – Archbishop of Osaka; His Excellency Sergio Obeso Rivera – Emeritus Archbishop of Xalapa; His Excellency Toribio Ticona Porco – Emeritus Bishop of Corocoro; Reverend Father Aquilino Bocos Merino – member of the Claretian order.