Pope Francis has reminded new cardinals that the cardinalate is certainly an honor, but it is not honorific, and rather requires that all cardinals put charity at the forefront of all they do.
During the Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of 20 new cardinals Saturday morning in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pope said, “In the Church, all presiding flows from charity, must be exercised in charity, and is ordered towards charity.”
The origin of the word cardinal, the Pope explained, comes from the word “cardo,” a hinge.
“As such it is not a kind of accessory, a decoration, like an honorary title,” he said. “Rather, it is a pivot, a point of support and movement essential for the life of the community. You are ‘hinges’ and are ‘incardinated’ in the Church of Rome, which presides over the entire assembly of charity.”
In this sense, he noted, the Church of Rome exercises an exemplary role.
“Just as she presides in charity,” he said, “so too each particular Church is called, within its own sphere, to preside in charity.”
St. Paul tells us that charity is, above all, “patient” and “kind,” the Pontiff said.
“The greater our responsibility in serving the Church,” Pope Francis said, “the more our hearts must expand according to the measure of the heart of Christ.”
“It means being able to love without limits, but also to be faithful in particular situations and with practical gestures. It means loving what is great without neglecting what is small; loving the little things within the horizon of the great things.”
St. Paul, the Holy Father added, also highlighted that charity “is not jealous or boastful, “is not puffed up with pride,” which is an inclination of all humans, including clergy.
Charity, the Pope also stressed, “is not arrogant or rude, it does not insist on its own way,” nor is it “irritable or self-centered.”
Pastors close to their people have plenty of opportunities to be irritable, to feel anger, the Pope said. “Even here, charity, and charity alone, frees us. It frees us from the risk of reacting impulsively, of saying or doing the wrong thing.”
“Charity, however, makes us draw back from the centre in order to set ourselves in the real centre, which is Christ alone. Then, and only then, can we be persons who are respectful and attentive to the good of others,” he stressed.
The Holy Father prayed that for this very reason, “the divine power of love, which transforms hearts, can be all the more evident in us, so that it is no longer you who live, but rather Christ who lives in you.”
The man of God, Francis said, “is someone captivated by truth, one who encounters it fully in the word and flesh of Jesus Christ, the inexhaustible source of our joy.”
“May the people of God always see in us a firm condemnation of injustice and joyful service to the truth,” he rejoiced.
“God is love,” the Pope said, “and he accomplishes all this in us if only we prove docile to the working of his Holy Spirit.”
The new cardinal electors include:
Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
Archbishop Manuel José Macario do Nascimento Clemente, Patriarch of Lisbon, Portugal
Archbishop Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, of Addis Abeba, Ethiopia
Archbishop John Atcherley Dew of Wellington, New Zealand
Archbishop Edoardo Menichelli of Ancona-Osimo, Italy
Archbishop Pierre Nguyên Văn Nhon of Hà Nôi, Vietnam
Archbishop Alberto Suàrez Inda of Morelia, Mexico
Archbishop Charles Maung Bo, S.D.B., of Yangon, Myanmar
Archbishop Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij of Bangkok, Thailand
Archbishop Francesco Montenegro of Agrigento, Italy
Archbishop Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, of Montevideo, Uruguay
Archbishop Ricardo Blázquez Pérez of Vallodolid, Spain
Bishop José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán of David, Panamá
Bishop Arlindo Gomes Furtado, of Santiago de Cabo Verde, Archipelago of Cape Verde
Bishop Soane Patita Paini Mafi of Tonga, Island of Tonga
Also joined to the members of the College of Cardinals were the following five archbishops and bishops emeriti who were distinguished for their pastoral charity in the service of the Holy See and of the Church:
José de Jesús Pimiento Rodriguez, Archbishop Emeritus of Manizales, Colombia
Archbishop Luigi De Magistris, Major Pro-Penitentiary Emeritus
Archbishop Karl-Joseph Rauber, Apostolic Nuncio
Luis Héctor Villaba, Archbishop Emeritus of Tucumán, Argentina
Júlio Duarte Langa, Bishop Emeritus of Xai-Xai, Mozambique
In the afternoon, courtesy visits were held in both the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall and the Apostolic Palace. At that time, loved ones and the faithful had the opportunity to meet and congratulate the new cardinals.
On ZENIT’s Web page:
List of New Cardinals: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-announces-names-of-20-new-cardinals
Fr. Lombardi’s Original Remarks on Soon-to-be New Cardinals: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/vatican-spokesman-reflects-on-those-chosen-to-be-cardinals