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Mauro Gambetti: I receive the cardinal's biretta as an invitation to row out to open sea

Three of the new cardinals who will receive the biretta on November 28 were not bishops. One of them is Mauro Gambetti, who was Custodian of the Sacred Convent of Assisi and the second Conventual Franciscan to receive the purple biretta.

Usually, in these cases, the new cardinal receives episcopal ordination days before the consistory. In the middle of the ceremony, Mauro Gambetti confessed that he heard the surprising announcement amid the festive atmosphere with his Franciscan brothers.

“I felt the whole festive atmosphere of my brothers, captivated by the sound of the bell rang by the dean of the community that almost swirled it. I then suddenly felt the impulse to kneel, but I didn’t do it to avoid falling into the theatricality. I didn't want to ruin the joyful atmosphere.”

He confessed that he considers his appointment as a cardinal as throwing himself from a trampoline into the sea and rowing out to open waters.

Then I laughed, I laughed at myself, because once again I thought of the Pope's face when he elected me and then imagined the face of Jesus who said to me 'Enough, you fool,' in quotation marks, it was I who elected you."

The only one of the new cardinals who are not bishops and will not receive episcopal ordination is Raniero Cantalamessa, who has requested a special dispensation from the Pope. 

Daniel Díaz Vizzi

Translation: Christian Campos

 Imágenes: Sacro Convento de Asís