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New Cardinal from Bangkok: Pope Francis told me the role “is a service of love”

2015-02-26

Less than one percent of Thailand's people are Catholic, but they now have a representative at the highest level of the Universal Church. On February 14, the Archbishop of Bangkok was elevated to Cardinal.

He said that because he didn't receive an official notification, he at first assumed the news of his appointment was just a rumor.

CARD. FRANCIS XAVIER KRIENGSAK KOVITHAVANIJ 
Archbishop of Bangkok (Thailand)
"I didn't believe. But then my friend, a bishop from Korea, said that 'I heard the Holy Father himself now.' Then I had to believe.”

He said that during the ceremony Pope Francis told him that that his job "is a service of love.” His family agrees with the Pope.

CARD. FRANCIS XAVIER KRIENGSAK KOVITHAVANIJ 
Archbishop of Bangkok (Thailand)
"My brother, a Buddhist monk who was also in the Basilica, repeated that to me many, many times.”

The new cardinal has now become part of the small group of men who could someday become Pope. Though he is relatively young at 65, he has remained humble.

CARD. FRANCIS XAVIER KRIENGSAK KOVITHAVANIJ
Archbishop of Bangkok (Thailand)
"What I am here now, is almost older than it could be.”

With the addition of the newest cardinals, Asia now has 14 cardinals who are eligible to vote in future Conclaves.


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