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Rome Reports

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These are the 13 new members of the College of Cardinals

Pope Francis began September with this announcement:

He appointed 13 new members to the College of Cardinals. The Consistory will take place on Oct. 5. 

Among them, two already work in the Holy See in departments of great interest for the pope. One of them, Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot presides over the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. He was ordained bishop by Pope Francis in March 2019.

Additionally, Jesuit Michael Czerny, works as Under Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He is the sepecial secretary for the Amazon Synod. It was precisely there that he received the surprise announcement.

The other Vatican official is Portuguese José Tolentino Mendonça, archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church.

Among the new cardinals, two of them are from Latin America. The first is the Archbishop of Havana, Juan de la Caridad García Rodríguez, the successor of Card. Jaime Ortega y Alamino.

The other Latin American who will become cardinal on Oct.5 is Guatemalan Álvaro Ramazzini Imeri.

Pope Francis has also elected those living in countries on the peripheries, like Indonesia, Archbishop of Jakarta, Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo, is the President of the Episcopal Conference in his majority-Muslim country.

Another newly appointed cardinal from a Muslim country is Archbishop of Rabat, Spaniard Cristóbal López Romero. He is famous for his role in interreligious dialogue and welcomed Pope Francis during his historic visit to Morocco.

The pope has not forgotten Africa. TheArchbishop of Kinshasa, Congolese Fridolin Ambongo Besungu will also be appointed cardinal. The bishop is recognized for his evangelization work in the most marginalized areas of the Congo. He considers his appointment a sign of hope for the people of his country. 

Other cardinals include, Jean-Claude Höllerich, President of the Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe and Archbishop of Luxembourg; as well as Matteo Zuppi, Archbishop of Bologna. Pope Francis recently visited the diocese of Bologna to participate in a theological congress. 

Out of the 13 new cardinals, three will not have the right to vote in an eventual conclave, since they are over age 80. 

One is Sigitas Tamkevicius, Archbishop Emeritus of Kaunas, who was persecuted by the KGB for witnessing his faith. 

Another is the former nuncio to Egypt as well as president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Michael Louis Fitzgerald. It is an appointment that many see as recognition for his work with other religions.

Pope Francis will also elect cardinal Eugenio Dal Corso, bishop emeritus of Benguela, Angola.

Now the College of Cardinals will be composed of 228 cardinals, although only 128 can vote in an eventual conclave.