Pope Francis Ordains 13 New Catholic Cardinals

Pope Francis ordianed 13 new cardinals from around the world on Saturday 28th of November, 2020.

The new cardinals hail from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe. Among them is Cardinal Antoine Kambanda, Archbishop of Kigali  (Rwanda), who lost his family, except a brother, in the genocidal war of 1994. The 62-year old cardinal was ordained a priest by Saint John Paul II in Rwanda 1990,  after which he taught in the Minor Seminary of Ndera (Kigali).  He has a doctorate in moral theology from Rome and has headed the Caritas of Kigali and the diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace. Pope Francis appointed him Bishop of Kibungo in 2013 and transferred him to the Archdiocese of Kigali in 2018.

Also is the first African American cardinal, Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, USA, from Chicago, Illinois. He was ordained a priest in 1973, he obtained a doctorate in liturgy from Rome’s Pontifical Athenaeum of Saint Anselm. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago in 1983, Bishop of Belleville in 1993, Archbishop of Atlanta in 2004 and Archbishop of Washington in 2019.  He was president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) from 2001 to 2004.

Other cardinals are from Italy, Mexico, Chile, Brunei, Malta, and the Philippines.

Two new “princes” of the church, from Brunei and the Philippines, didn’t make it to Rome because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, though they were shown on giant screens watching it from home in the nearly empty St. Peter’s Basilica.

Pope Francis warned the new cardinals against falling into corruption or using their new rank for personal advancement, saying that just because they have a new title, “Eminence,” doesn’t mean they should drift from their people.

The scarlet of a cardinal’s robes, which is the colour of blood, can, for a worldly spirit, become the colour of a secular ’eminence’, when you feel that, you will be off the road.