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Cardinal Gomes Furtado: I must do my best for “the Church and for humanity”

2015-03-03

The Diocese of Santiago de Cabo Verde is the oldest Roman Catholic diocese in Africa. And now, for the first time since its founding nearly 500 years ago, a cardinal has come from its soil. 

Newly-created Cardinal Arlindo Gomes Furtado said the appointment was a joyful occasion for his small country, which is about 90 percent Catholic.

CARD. ARLINDO GOMES FURTADO
Bishop of Santiago de Cabo Verde (Cape Verde)
"It is the first time that the Pope nominated a cardinal from Cape Verde. The diocese is the oldest diocese in Africa. So my people are very joyful, and mutually, I am very glad for that.”

The induction ceremony was very emotional for the new cardinals, their families, and the many dignitaries who attended. But the cardinal believed Pope Francis' call for love and service was the highlight of the event.

CARD. ARLINDO GOMES FURTADO
Bishop of Santiago de Cabo Verde (Cape Verde)
"The ceremony was very simple, but it was very important for the message.”

Despite his meteoric rise within the Church, the cardinal did not exude ambition. Instead, he remains focused on his broader calling.

CARD. ARLINDO GOMES FURTADO
Bishop of Santiago de Cabo Verde (Cape Verde)
"It is important that where I am, I do my best for the Church and for humanity. That is the most important.”

Cardinal Gomes Furtado is 65 years old, so he will be able to vote in Conclaves until 2029. He joins 14 other African cardinals who have the power to decide the next Pope.


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