Cardinal Tomasi: We must redouble our efforts to be coherent

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The life of Silvano Tomasi can be summed up in one word: service. He has been apostolic nuncio, permanent observer before the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. He has raised his voice about the drama of migration and has collaborated with the last six popes.

It's a wide-ranging curriculum that on Nov. 28 will have added to it the responsibilities of forming part of the College of Cardinals. He says he initially thought it was a prank by one of his former secretaries.

Pontifical Delegate to the Order of Malta
“Then I sat in front of the computer, and I started to get three or four calls from different parts of the world. That's when I understood that it was, in fact, a decision of the pope.”

The decision takes him by surprise because he is over 80 years old and so, cannot participate as an elector in a future conclave.

After being secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the pope chose to make him his representative before the Order of Malta.

Although he has lived in the world of Vatican diplomacy, he has also felt the pain and wounds of war and poverty, especially during his service as nuncio in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Yibuti.

Pontifical Delegate to the Order of Malta
“It's been an enriching experience in the various parts of the world Providence has sent me to serve the Church, even in places facing problems. I've seen wars. I've also seen human tragedies; so much poverty; countries still developing.”

In his current stage in life, he maintains his enthusiasm knowing that his experience can contribute a lot to the Church, especially in current times, which may seem particularly dark.

Pontifical Delegate to the Order of Malta
“We must redouble our efforts to be coherent with our Christian life, because words alone don't give us credibility. We must overcome the scandals that have happened. We must overcome isolation, fear and curving inward on ourselves.”

The Nov. 28 consistory will be unique, as it isn't yet clear how it will unfold in the middle of the ongoing pandemic.

Pontifical Delegate to the Order of Malta
“The pandemic caused by the coronavirus doesn't allow for the participation of many people. Each new cardinal will surely be allowed to invite a maximum of 10 people—relatives and friends—but the important thing is to be aware of the commitment this event represents.”

Some cardinals might not be able to travel to Rome, so they will receive their red birettas at their respective countries' nunciatures. Tomasi says the most important thing is that they receive this new title with an awareness of the challenges they will face as the pope's close collaborators and in light of the Church's current challenges.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi

Translation: CT

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