What message is Pope Francis sending with his choice of new cardinals?

A consistory for the creation of new cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica on Oct. 5, 2019. / Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

Vatican City, May 30, 2022 / 05:15 am (CNA).

The consistory for the creation of cardinals on Aug. 27 is a ceremony that seems to mark the end of a pontificate — though that end might be long in coming.

After praying the Regina Coeli on Sunday, Pope Francis announced the creation of 16 new cardinals eligible to vote in a future conclave and five over the age of 80.

He also summoned all cardinals to take part in another consistory, on Aug. 29-30, to discuss the new Vatican constitution Praedicate evangelium. Such a broad discussion among cardinals hasn’t taken place for seven years.

The 85-year-old pope chose to convene the consistory in August, a non-traditional date. The last such event took place on Aug. 24, 1807, when Pius VII named Francesco Guidobono Cavalchini as a cardinal in pectore. The move was only made public in 1818.

By announcing the gathering to discuss the new Vatican constitution, the pope effectively froze the ongoing debate until the end of August. For three months, discussion of curial reform and the Church’s broader trajectory will be effectively contained, giving Pope Francis a freer hand to make changes, including new curial appointments, and present them as a fait accompli by the time of his meeting with the world’s cardinals.

There is almost a sense of inevitability to the new consistory for the creation of cardinals. There is a widespread perception in Rome that this will be Pope Francis’ last and therefore he wants to set things straight.

Some observers even speculate that Pope Francis could end the Aug. 29-30 gathering with cardinals by announcing his resignation. That would certainly be a striking gesture, sending the message that once one’s mandate is completed — and Pope Francis’ mandate is above all curial reform — then one may leave office.

This hypothesis seems unlikely for now. But the next consistory does send many strong messages. They can be divided into four themes: numbers and symbols; the language of Pope Francis’ consistories; what the cardinals’ profiles reveal; and Pope Francis’ vision.

Numbers and symbols

Pope Francis has now completely abolished the idea of ​​cardinalatial dioceses. Thus, important archdiocesan sees remain without cardinals, including Milan, Venice, Krakow, Paris, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Pope Francis has sought to expand the global representativeness of the College of Cardinals. As a result, Paraguay, East Timor, and Singapore will each have a cardinal for the first time. Pope Francis will also create as a cardinal Bishop Giorgio Marengo, the apostolic vicar in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

The next consistory will see six new cardinals from Asia. Four cardinals-elect come from Europe, four from America, and two from Africa. Asia already had 15 cardinal electors, and it was thought that the pope would not look there for new cardinals. And yet, the pope increased the Asian representation significantly.

Africa also had 15 cardinal electors but only got two red hats. Europe has four new cardinals eligible to vote in a conclave, and the Americas also has four. Oceania currently has three cardinals, but none from Australia: this is also a sobering figure.

How will the College of Cardinals be composed starting from the next consistory? There are 117 cardinal electors, and there will be 116 at the time of the consistory because, in the meantime, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera will have turned 80 years old. After the consistory, there will be 132 cardinals with the right to vote in a conclave, 12 more than the limit of 120 established by Paul VI.

By the end of August, Pope Francis will therefore have created 83 cardinal electors, or 62% of cardinals in a future conclave. By the end of 2022, six other cardinals will have turned 80, thus losing the right to vote in a conclave.

Only one of these, Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chávez, was created a cardinal by Pope Francis. Therefore, Pope Francis will find himself at the end of the year with a possible conclave of 126 cardinals, 82 of which he created.

This means that in a conclave, the cardinals created by Pope Francis would be at just over 65%. The quorum for the election of a pope is two-thirds, or 84 cardinals. At the end of 2022, the cardinals created by Pope Francis will only be two less than the quota necessary to elect a successor.

The latest cardinals come from England, South Korea, Spain, France, Nigeria, India (2), Brazil (2), the United States, East Timor, Italy (5), Ghana, Singapore, Paraguay, Colombia, and Belgium.

After the ceremony on Aug. 27, Europe will have 55 cardinal electors, Africa 16, and North America 16 (Bishop Robert McElroy’s entry compensates for Cardinal Rivera’s exit). Central America will remain at seven, while South America rises to 15, Asia goes up to 19 and Oceania sees no new entries, staying at three.

At the end of 2022, Central America will have five cardinals, South America 14, and Europe 52. On Aug. 27, the cardinal electors created by Pope Francis will number 83, with 38 by Benedict XVI, and 11 by John Paul II. At the end of 2022, the quota will drop to 82, 34, and 10 respectively.

Pope Francis has also named five new cardinals over the age of 80 without the right to vote in the conclave. In total, he will have created 27 cardinals over the age of 80 at eight consistories. This is a record: Benedict XVI made 16 cardinals over 80 at five consistories and John Paul II 20 in nine consistories.

For Pope Francis, the consistory is also a language, one that is also spoken through his choices of cardinals over 80.

The language of Pope Francis’ consistories

What does this lastest consistory mean, then? First of all, that the pope will not give particular weight to the new offices of the Curia. Those already in post get the red hat: Archbishop Lazarus You Heung-sik, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, Archbishop Arthur Roche, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, and Archbishop Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

Yet Archbishop Rino Fisichella, current president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, will not be a cardinal. With the reform, he will become a pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization, alongside Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the current president of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (the prefect will be the pope). But Fisichella will not have the recognition of the red hat, as Cardinal Tagle did.

Also not appearing on the list of new cardinals is Malta’s Archbishop Charles Scicluna, whom many have tipped to be the next prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (currently the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, or CDF). But this does not necessarily mean that he is no longer in the running to succeed the 78-year-old CDF prefect Cardinal Luis Ladaria.

There are other curial offices that are expected to see a generational change of leadership. Among those over 75 are Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches. None of their successors might be cardinal at the moment.

For Pope Francis, therefore, an appointment in the Curia does not count because under the new constitution this lasts a maximum of 10 years. Instead, what counts is personal trust or the emphasis he wants to give to certain themes.

The liturgy is not necessarily among those themes. Following the motu proprio Traditionis custodes, it was thought that the pope would send a liturgical message by giving the red hat to Archbishop Piero Marini, Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations from 1987 to 2007. But this was not the case.

The pope did, however, elevate Archbishop Arthur Roche, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, who has enthusiastically promoted Pope Francis’s liturgical decisions.

What the cardinals’ profiles reveal

Pope Francis underlined the theme of the family by giving a red hat to Bishop Oscar Cantoni of Como, northern Italy, who was among the first to apply the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia, in the sense of granting, under certain conditions, Communion to the divorced and remarried.

It is worth noting that Cantoni’s name has come up at two Vatican trials. One concerned alleged abuse in the Vatican pre-seminary. The bishop was questioned because it was he who ordained Father Gabriele Martinelli, a priest who was acquitted at the trial. Cantoni also featured in the Vatican finance trial, because Cardinal Angelo Becciu is alleged to have turned to him to put pressure to stop the flow of testimonies from Monsignor Alberto Perlasca, a priest of the Como diocese who is today one of the key witnesses.

The pope, however, trusts Cantoni. And perhaps he also wanted to send a message to Archbishop Mario Delpini of Milan, who is currently facing accusations of covering up abuse.

Meanwhile, Archbishop Jean-Marc Aveline of Marseille will be the first French residential prelate to receive the red hat from Pope Francis.

In April 2021, Aveline met the pope and proposed a papal visit to Marseille to develop a sort of “theology of the Mediterranean” that the pope launched with his journey to Lampedusa in 2013 and continued to shape with a trip to Naples in 2015.

Aveline presented the idea of ​​a Mediterranean pilgrimage to the pope and also launched the idea of ​​an extraordinary synod for the Mediterranean. The pope seems to prefer this idea to the “Mediterranean frontier of peace” initiative launched by the Italian bishops’ conference. Therefore, the choice of Aveline not only affects the French episcopate but also gives a clear signal to the Italian one.

Among the new cardinals there is also Bishop Peter Ebere Okpaleke of Ekwulobia, in southeastern Nigeria. He was appointed bishop of Ahiara by Benedict XVI in 2012 but was unable to settle in the diocese because local Catholics demanded a bishop of another ethnicity. Pope Francis described the situation as “unacceptable” and even considered suppressing the diocese. In 2020, he appointed Okpakele as the first bishop of Ekwulobia. His appointment sends a clear message: one cannot oppose the will of the pope regarding episcopal appointments and, above all, it cannot be done for ethnic reasons.

Another significant sign is the red hat awarded to Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, who was reportedly considered a possible candidate to lead the Church in Washington, D.C. McElroy represents the most conciliatory line among the U.S. bishops regarding Communion for pro-choice Catholic politicians such as President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In 2019, Francis named McElroy one of two Americans to attend the Amazon synod.

The Brazilian Archbishop Leonardo Ullrich of Manaus was also at the forefront during the synod. His creation as cardinal is undoubtedly linked to his work for the Church in the Amazon: the 77-year-old Franciscan is vice president of the Ecclesial Conference of the Amazon.

Another new cardinal, Archbishop Filipe Neri António Sebastião do Rosário Ferrão of Goa, India, was named a bishop by John Paul II in 1993. He is currently president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India.

Archbishop Anthony Poola of Hyderabad, 60, also comes from India. He will be the first Dalit to become a cardinal, giving a solid signal to Indian society.

Also named a cardinal is Archbishop Virgílio do Carmo Da Silva of Dili, East Timor. Pope Francis had elevated Dili to a metropolitan archdiocese in 2019 and giving the red hat to the first archbishop is a vital sign of attention.

Archbishop Paulo Cezar Costa of Brasilia, 54, is the fourth archbishop of the Brazilian capital to become a cardinal after Cardinal José Freire Falcão, Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, and Cardinal Sérgio da Rocha.

Also named cardinals are Bishop Richard Kuuia Baawobr of Wa, Ghana, the 62-year-old former superior general of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers,) and Archbishop William Goh of Singapore, 64, who has led the Asian archdiocese since 2013. Their appointments meet the criteria of worldwide representation.

Bishop Giorgio Marengo, the apostolic prefect of Ulaanbaatar, is a Consolata missionary who has been a bishop since 2020. At 47, he will become the youngest member of the College of Cardinals.

As mentioned, the cardinal electors are particularly important. And so, the red hat arrives for the Jesuit Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda, Pope Francis’ troubleshooter and key man in all the most complex canonical situations. The 79-year-old Ghirlanda presented Praedicate evangelium after its publication, and he was positioned next to the pope at an interdicasterial meeting in May.

Bishop Lucas Van Looy, the 80-year-old emeritus bishop of Ghent, Belgium, is another of the new cardinals created by Pope Francis, who insisted on his presence at the 2015 family synod. His positions at the synod sought a synthesis, but he is considered an exponent of the progressive wing at home.

The red birretta for him is a further slap in the face for Archbishop André-Joseph Leonard, who led the archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels from 2010 to 2015. His predecessor, Godfried Danneels, was a cardinal, and so was his successor, Jozef de Kesel, created by Pope Francis. At the consistory of 2015, the pope also gave the red hat to Karl Jozef Rauber, the former nuncio to Belgium who strongly opposed the appointment of Léonard as archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels.

Another new cardinal recently over the age of 80 is Archbishop Jorge Enrique Jiménez Carvajal, archbishop emeritus of Cartagena, Colombia, while the biretta given to Archbishop Arrigo Miglio, the archbishop emeritus of Cagliari, Italy, who will turn 80 next July, is a bit surprising.

Monsignor Fortunato Frezza, an 80-year-old canon of St. Peter’s Basilica (and chaplain to the soccer team AS Roma), who worked for years for the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, will also become cardinal. Here, the pope wanted to reward the old guard of the Synod of Bishops, and it is a sign that should not be underestimated.

Pope Francis’ vision

Pope Francis uses consistories as a form of government. The first criterion is representativeness, and Francis has dramatically expanded the electoral representation. Following the consistory in August, 18 countries that previously never had a cardinal will be represented in the College of Cardinals.

Pope Francis also used consistories to change profoundly the profile of the College. So far, he has created 83 cardinal electors (101 after the August consistory.) The pope has no qualms about going beyond the limit of cardinal electors because the message he is conveying is important to him.

This consistory, in particular, sends a message of “completion of work.” The pope clarifies which positions he prefers, highlights that the Curia does not weigh greatly for him, and underlines the importance of the peripheral dioceses.

At the same time, Pope Francis confirms a typical feature of his modus operandi: that of discussing decisions only after they have been made. This happened during the curial reform process and also happens now that the reform has been unveiled.

The pope has asked the cardinals for a meeting months after Praedicate evangelium comes into force. This is not, after all, a reform made by consensus, although drafts of the constitution were sent to the presidents of the world’s episcopal conferences. It is a reform made to respond to the mandate entrusted to Pope Francis. The cardinals will not be able to change the reform. They will only be able to acknowledge it.

It is for all these reasons that the August consistory gives the impression of ​​an endpoint. After this, Pope Francis will only make minor adjustments, and perhaps he will not preside over another consistory. After Aug. 30, we will see, more clearly than ever before, the outlines of his legacy.

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About Andrea Gagliarducci, Catholic News Agency 45 Articles
Andrea Gagliarducci is Vatican analyst for Catholic News Agency.


  1. What in blazes might the “theology of the Mediterranean” be? My guess is that it involves welcoming Francis’ noble migrants into Europe and North America in order to turn the entire world into a vast Third World slum ruled over by his pals from the World Economic Forum.

    As for the answers to the question in the headline, one is directed to the US Bishops (Hands off Biden and Pelosi!) and another is for the Traditionalists (We will crush you!). Francis is definitely not subtle.

  2. He’s signaling what we’ve been saying all along (that cwr doesn’t want to report)..
    This is a small man, bent on destroying his ‘enemies’ & advancing his allies…
    Its his legacy and by it, pray God we’ll have a new conclave soon…

    • A new conclave? At which Cardinal Cupich could be elected pope? It could wind up being “out of the frying pan and into the fire.”

  3. Gagliarducci give a good rundown on appointments leaving the impression of a progressive Church. That he didn’t red hat Archbishop Charles Scicluna seems a surprise, or it may be for taking the attention off his possible candidacy for a new pontiff. Speculate all we wish, perhaps the clearest indication of intent for a progressive Church is, “Africa also had 15 cardinal electors but only got two red hats”. Africa by far the largest, fastest growing Church with a conservative hierarchy that riles the New Agers like cardinal Walter Kasper.

  4. Thanks for the rundown, although it is a bit overwhelming.
    I’m interested in the red hat for Bishop Luk Van Looy (Ghent, Belgium).
    Yes, he is considered a “progressive” at home. Online, there was a picture of him, the disgraced Danneels, apparently his mentor, and Bonny of Antwerp, another “progressive”. As far as I can tell, the Church in Belgium has “progressed” right into the ground and Francis seems to like it that way.

  5. Progressive reforms would be: 1) Married hetero-sexual clergy – look at the Eastern Orthodox. 2) Since women are not choosing to be religious nuns, ordaining women to the deaconate because women want to be recognized for their service – Scripture and early Church writings 3) emphasizing the lay religious orders again of Franciscans, Dominicans, and Carmelites established in the 13th century and on-going for 800 years. All of these reforms can be traced back to Scripture and the traditions of the early church practiced for over thousands of years of church history. Note Acts that regarded helping the poor as “women’s work” which is the role of the Deacons in the early church.

    What would be reforms not mentioned in Scripture or part of Church history is 1) allowing homosexual men and women into ministry 2) allowing “same-sex marriages”. These behaviors have been universally condemned, not condoned.

    The conversation needs to shift away from same-sex ideologies and back to common-sense reforms or re-institutions of long-held beliefs originating with the early church fathers.

    • We can have “deaconesses” when we RETVRN to strict separation of the sexes and delineated sex roles as in the early Church.

    • Apparently you never gave any thought to the intrinsic evil and God insulting vanity of “progressivism.”

  6. Elsewhere, JD Flynn reports that Spadaro has flat out stated that the McElroy appointment is intended to send a strong message to the US Church. The preposterous Mr. Flynn then pretends to be mystified as to what that message could be. Perhaps the usual papal apologists can develop a theory along the lines that, like the issuance of TC, giving McElroy the red hat is intended to punish the rigorists for opposing Amoris Laetetia, denouncing the Pachamama synod, and in general, just being so resistant to Francis’ agenda and vision for the Church. You see, actions have consequences and, once again, Catholic conservatives brought chastisment upon themselves. What else can we expect the Holy Father do with such people?

  7. We read “There is a widespread perception in Rome that this will be Pope Francis’ last and therefore he wants to set things straight.” Interesting double entendre: “straight.”

    The issue for the next conclave will be whether the primitive tradition (!) of indebtedness and personal loyalty outweighs the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Or not.

  8. That SD native SF Archbishop Cordileone is wrong in his weaponization of the Eucharist he imposed on Pelosi. That SF native SD Bishop McElroy is right when he consistently through the years called on fellow bishops not to weaponize the Eucharist.

    • Alwin A. A weapon can be used for unjust aggression against the innocent, or in just defense of the innocent and in instances defense of the truth. Here, regarding the decision of Archbishop Cordileone it is indeed a justifiable weapon in defense of the truth of Christ’s word, and a weapon against the injustice of promoting mass murder of the innocents. We may also say it is a weapon intended to shatter the errors of nominal Catholics in order to save them from eternal disaster. The choice of interpretation is your responsibility. Ultimately, its justice is determined by God.

      • Thank you, Fr. Morello. I think Archbishop Cordileone is correct in his pronouncement for Speaker Pelosi. One cannot expect that typical citizens who may not be Catholic to understand how one who flagrantly defies Catholic teaching can be admitted to it’s premier sacrament. As Catholics we are called to remind each other when we are in grave sin. Other wise it is a double sin on those who do not try to correct their fellow Christian.

      • I can picture you in your presbyteral ministry; you are supremely governed by your canonical-legalistic sense rather than by pastoral charity.

        • Susan, It is not pastoral to confirm people in their sin. That is the LEAST pastoral thing you can do. When people affirm other people abominable behaviour, it is not only that particular sinner that they affirm, they give confidence to all others who commit the same sin to go on sinning.

          The pastor who does that is leading his flock to a ravine to be devoured by wolves. But no doubt you like that idea.

        • I thank her Holiness Susan for her gracious pontification. I will do my best not to appear supremely governed by my canonical legalistic sense [phew, had trouble getting all that in] when saving souls from the eternal fires of hell.

          • Mal. Search the Gospels the Acts of the Apostles the Letters and find multiple instances of judgment of sin, and sinners. You’re in effect a disciple of Susan not Christ. Return to the true practice of faith in Christ.

          • Father, I am aware of the authority given to the Apostles (and to the priests) and I, as a practicing Catholic, do take advantage of it.
            My post was not a response to yours but to Susan’s advise. If by pastoral care she is talking about love, then the first and most important commandment given by Jesus is that we should love God and to love our neighbor as he loved us. Our Lord truly loved Judas, the ones who nailed him to that cross, the adulterous woman and so on. It does not matter how sinful a person is, we still need to love that person. This is not easy. It was this advice that I believe applies to all of us – not only to priests.

        • Susan,
          Ok. If you want to talk about pastoral charity, let’s.
          1) Where is Pelosi’s pastoral charity when she promotes ripping the tiny innocent child from his mother’s womb?
          2) Where is the mother’s pastoral charity when she opens her womb to a surgical excision or chemical extermination of her tiny innocent child?
          3) Where is the doctor’s pastoral charity when he sucks the life right out of that child and charges half a thousand dollars for that act?

          Let’s talk about pastoral charity.

    • Adam kept quiet while Eve was being tempted into eating the forbidden fruit, a true practitioner of “Who am I to Judge?”. By modern standards it could be argued that Abel was insufferably rigid, and was so damaging to Cain’s self-esteem that Cain was fully justified in what he did to Abel. Cain did respond to God with the question “am I my brother’s keeper?”.

    • Choose you cliches carefully, or else you will merely embrace profound foolishness. It is impossible to turn the Eucharist into a weapon by denying it to politicians, joyously reveling in their crimes against humanity, and using their Church-going as a weapon of public grandstanding for the normalization of their crimes against humanity.

    • True, Pope Francis agrees with Bishop (Cardinal) McElroy that the Eucharist is not to be weaponized because as he said it clearly in his oft-quoted maxim, “The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak” (Evangelii Gaudium, 47). The Bishop understood this well and follows it, so he’s made Cardinal. The Archbishop on the other hand is wrong, does not get the papal teaching at all and is defying the Pope by instead following a highly partisan political spin. That’s the message to the Archbishop and the few other bishops who seconded him.

      • You and the Pope appear to contradict St. Paul in First Corinthians 5. He sent a very clear, strong message about the administration of Church discipline.

        • Your biblical interpretation and application here is reflective of the abuse and misuse of scripture often employed by anti-Catholic Evangelicals and Protestants. Your text does not apply in this case. It maybe is in the Bible but it is not what the Bible says about this matter. You are doing Eisegesis – putting meaning into the text – which is wrong and bad, not the correct Exegesis – taking meaning from the text.

          • Popes don’t have any more right to be wrong than anyone else. There is no such thing as a “papal teaching” that can contradict Scripture or doctrine. It is you who are employing a Protestantized misunderstanding of the faith. Francis does not have a right to either perform sacrilege or promote sacrilege of the Holy Eucharist. It is not medicine for the smugly defiant. It is medicine for the humble and repentant.

          • No Susan, you are the one doing eisegesis. In fact you are so terribly wrong we don’t even know where to begin to show your errors.

            Scripture and Tradition contradicts you.

            If I am not mistaken you are one of those who will cut the verses regarding the adulterous woman at “neither do I condemn you” and completely hide the fact that God’s own last word on this is to “GO AND SIN NO MORE”.

            You want affirmation for your sin and others sins. But Jesus came to call us to conversion. But I do get that what He has said rankles. Fine. Just stop pretending to be Catholic and follow those who have turned their backs on Christ while pretending to be his disciples. There are so very many Protestant denominations who espouse what you espouse.

            Be honest at least.

          • St. Paul’s actions were those of someone who both believed and practiced his faith. First Corinthians was heavily involved with the correction of defective faith practices. He made it clear that those who gave scandal sin against Christ by harming fellow Christians who have a weak conscience (1 Corinthians 8).

      • Susan, I wouldn’t say that the Archbishop is wrong in what he did. That is how he saw it and so acted accordingly – and with authority. We could say the same about the Bishop. St Paul puts the onus on the receiver. “Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.” ! Corinthians 11.27
        Nobody could hurt or harm our Lord. He took all that Satan and evil people could throw at him, and came emerged victorious.

      • Susan, sorry but that is just nonsense. Cordileone simply did the right thing as outlined in canon law. The Pope is wrong and those who followed him erred with him. This Pope has been leading far too many people to error and possibly perdition.

        This quote from EG (“The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak”) just shows us how badly wrong Francis understands scripture and theology in general.

        All priests (and I assume the Pope does too) prays just before receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord: “may it not bring me condemnation but health in mind and body”.

        So clearly, you can eat the body of Christ and instead of being brought to health are instead thrown into condemnation. St Paul was clear that some were sick because of it.

        Like any medicine there are contra indications. Receive it when you are in mortal sin and an obstinate sinner and it does not have the medicinal effect but quite the opposite.

        Pelosi is a dyed in the wool abortiphile. She needs to join the confessional line and not the communion line. But like Pharaoh her heart is so hardened despite all the graces that have been poured upon her to get her to repent. She is so obstinately in the camp of the devil in this issue and many others.

        I don’t see why she keeps up the pretence that she is Catholic.

        • You are judging the Pope’s faith and his profound understanding of Jesus and his Church. The Pope knows too well what scripture tells us about communion and this is why he keeps reminding us about the need to make use of the confessional. Did you know that, though he grew up a devout Catholic, it was after a life-changing spiritual experience during confession that Pope Francis dedicated his life to serving the Lord?
          Yes, Jesus did tell the adulteress to sin no more but the amazing thing was that he also did not condemn her. Why? Because he came to save, not to condemn. All of us were/are condemned without Jesus. He also asked us to “judge not.” Do we not all fall short when we consider what we do and, importantly as well, what we do not do. I was hungry, thirsty, lonely, frightened, desperate, infected, in the slums, a refuge, abnormal, deserted … and where were you?
          Jesus did condemn the the praying, fasting, tithe-giving, incense-offering hypocrites, but never did he condemn a single individual. But he mixed with sinners. As I said, he came to save.

          • Mal. I’m obligated under strict penalty to judge when I’m hearing confessions, following Christ’s mandate, Whatever sins you forgive will be forgiven, whatever you withhold will be withheld. Laity are obligated to correct the sinner, especially if it’s one’s children. We’re obligated to pray for sinners. Awareness, which must involve a moral judgment of what is sin is not at all an arbitrary condemnation of others.

          • I do understand that, Fr Peter, but you would have to ascertain whether or not the person is genuinely sorry for the sins committed and makes a commitment to sin no more. How would a priest really know the true condition of a person’s soul? How would a priest have “judged” the boastful Pharisee in that Parable? Would that judgement be the same as our Lord’s?
            Someone here mentioned that statement made by Pope Francis: Who am I to judge? Because of that, there is an ignorant view that Pope Francis is okay with homosexuality. Actually Pope Francis is not okay with it, but how can he judge a person who assured him that he (the sinner) had made his peace with God?
            When I was a young man I was not really sorry for some of my sins though I did confess them and had them forgiven. Later, I came to realize that those were bad confessions. Judging is very difficult.

          • It’s not within our responsibility to judge the soul. As you correctly say that’s God’s domain. However, we do live in this world and must make judgments based on what people do, how they respond to others. What is manifest in their behavior. That’s necessary for an ordered society.
            Confessing sins to a Catholic priest is a sacrament in which Christ is present. Our perfect contrition although best is not required. Which is why this sacramental confession is a merciful gift to us all. Even if we approach and confess out of fear and however imperfect we receive absolution. Reparation to God for sins is necessary in Purgatory.

    • Seriously?? By making public statements which were broadcast to millions that they were “devout” catholics, it is in fact leftist politicians who first “weaponized” the Eucharist. Weaponized it in a cheap bid for the votes of the catholic uninformed. A person may call themselves a lapsed catholic or a fallen away catholic, but the term “devout” catholic presumes the speaker is in such spiritual disposition to worthily receive communion.People advocating for abortion do not fall into this category. I am tired of hearing “who am I to judge” and ” I dont know the state of their soul”.It is the JOB of high churchmen to lay down the law and make it known.Not roll over and play dead. There is another old saying which is “actions speak louder than words”. Neither Biden nor Pelosi are simply politicians who are going along with what their party wants, which would be cowardly enough.They have PUSHED and ADVOCATED for the most extreme level of abortion laws, even those crossing over to the death of live birth babies. The Pope gave them a warm welcome at the Vatican, for which, I assume, he will one day be held to account. The red hats he appoints wont be there to save him then.

    • Persisting in obstinate, publicly manifest, mortally grave sin is choosing to reject the presence of Christ in one’s body and soul. To present one’s pharisaic self for receipt of Holy Eucharist in that state of persistent serious sin is to show oneself high on the scale of hypocrisy.

      The contradiction consists in holding aloft the black horror of dripping dead heads of many aborted infants while also holding aloft the Holy Eucharist and proclaiming them similar.

      Hypocrisy is furthered by attitudes like these: “I’ll be the judge of whether I receive Eucharist. You, bishop, and You, members of the Body of Christ, what right have you to talk to me, denying my free choice? I shall not listen. I have my right to freedom of religion, the right to make my own religion. How dare you speak to me about what the Church teaches or has taught for centuries. I’m the Speaker today.”

  9. Human beings adapt to their traumas and at times nobly persevere with innovative creativity in response to graces bestowed by their creator. But progress, in the sense of metamorphosizing into a different sort of creature with a different sort of eternal purpose, a different intellect, a different moral sense, simply does not exist. It is the definition of evil to believe progress does exist or to want the silly notion of progress to exist. Progressivism in the Church is an affront to God almighty. It is not the competing side in a ball game. We can change the nature of our circumstances but we can not change our God given nature and endowments. Believing we can is human vanity run insane no different than the craven degeneracy of Hitler and Stalin. A repeat performance of this pontificate will complete a deconstruction of the Church so dire that only Our Lord’s return can set matters straight.

  10. Does the word “excommunication” come to anyones mind? Does the phrase “cultural Marxist” enter anyones thoughts?

    However, Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

    The church has faced all manner of difficulties in the past, today we find the same.

    Blessings to all who love the Lord.

  11. The message that the Pope is saying is that the influence of the sexual predator McCarrick lives on with the promotion of his acolytes.

  12. Abolishing the idea of ​​cardinalatial dioceses is one of the best ideas the Pope has come up with. These are nothing more than vestiges of empire. We seem to forget the birth of Christianity did not occur on 26 January 1564. We have lost sight of the teachings of Jesus and how the followers organized around the creation of communities before the empire took over.

  13. It’s good news. Winners of the 2021-2022 UEFA Conference League Football finals, AS Roma will be delighted to see their long serving chaplain Monsignor Fortunato Frezza being honored with the Red Hat.

  14. Perhaps the best description of this coming consistory is: hagan lio.
    Francis wants to make sure the Church is in a big-time mess before he goes.
    May God grant him a happy death, and a merciful and favorable judgment.
    The elevation of McElroy says it all about Francis’ “vision”: a back-hand sucker punch to pro-life advocates, traditionalists, conservatives and the US hierarchy.

    • You must mean the loud small minority among U.S. Catholics now jeering at this elevation of Bishop McElroy to Cardinal. The vast majority are cheering. You should take note of the numbers.

      • Contempt for Catholic witness and values and depraved indifference towards the mass murder of the unborn has been pervasive among most “Catholics” for a long time. Why wouldn’t they have a favorable regard for an anti-Catholic prelate? There are lots of them.

  15. The comment section is behaving strangely during comment posting to this article. Comments aren’t showing up with the customary moderation message. I’m also getting system maintenance messages when posting. There is no indication what is happening to the comments.

  16. So many good disciples of Jesus in this list. The Holy Spirit is truly alive in our universal Church. The Church would have become merely a religious club of elitists if the men preferred by the Pope’s detractors (mostly westerners) had got in.

    • So the self-admitted Marxists preferred by Francis are not elitists? And the trivializers of the humanity of the unborn preferred by Francis are not elitists?

        • Then why hasn’t our confused Pope denounce the goals of the German Synod which align with present-day Marxism?

          Time to realize the current papacy is not the imaginary one you continue to embrace.

          • It is definitely not the concocted one you have allowed yourself to be fed.
            He is allowing the German Catholics to come to terms with the evils they face bur, in a letter, wrote: “every time an ecclesial community has tried to get out of its problems alone, relying solely on its own strengths, methods and intelligence, it has ended up multiplying and nurturing the evils it wanted to overcome.” At the same time he sent a powerful message when he publicly welcomed German Catholics who oppose those seeking change. How many times do you want Pope Francis to denounce Marxism?
            There are some good posts in wherepeteris. Here is one of them. https://wherepeteris.com/pope-francis-generation-podcast-launch/

  17. Message? Simple:

    That the Church has a committed leftist leadership intent on propagating its ideological agenda indefinitely into the future through the appointment of as many leftist cardinals as possible.

    And that the Gospel of Christ Jesus is nowhere near foremost in their hearts.

  18. Weaponize the Eucharist…politicize the Eucharist? Weaponize the Body and Blood of God-Christ bringing us in Holy Communion in the Mystical Body of Christ; you have to be a living member and you have to be in saving grace without grievous sin. To legalize the murder of millions of babies, does not change the Commandments of God #5 and #6. The Pontiff of the Catholic Church does not defend the commandments of God or the Truth of Christ, just the opposite. “In the final days, the Church will pass through a trial that will test and shake the faith of many to accept a worldly solution”. Christ is not absent, he is patient. “Behold I come as a thief” (Rev 16:15) “And behold I come quickly.” (Rev. 22:7) “Surely I am coming soon! Come Lord Jesus (22:20)

  19. We are not in a position to judge a person’s worthiness or righteousness. Only Jesus, who knows what is happening deep within the soul, can judge.

    • Mal, realize you’ve rationalized the ability to judge what is manifest to the degree that you’re de jure amoral. Christ teaches us differently.

      • There are two different issues here, Father. One is the authority to forgive the sins of a person who confesses them and is repentant.
        The other one is our human nature to judge people by what we see, hear or read. This has nothing to do with confession. Paul, in Romans, tells us: “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on another. For on whatever grounds you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.”
        Even our Lord asked us not to judge.
        Father, I personally believe that the procedure for confession needs to be strengthened. After the person confesses his/her sins, the priest should ask two questions before forgiving or retaining mortal sins. 1) Are you truly sorry for these sins? 2) Is it your intention not to commit these sins again? Perhaps, we could add a third one 3) Do you accept all of our Lord’s teachings and that of the Roman Catholic Church? This would strengthen reconciliation, which confession is all about.

        • If a sin is habitual the priest should [as I do] request the penitent to refrain from continuing that sin. If when habitual they admit struggle I ask they do their best. Otherwise, we can’t make the confessional an interrogation format as in a criminal investigation [when there’s indication for teaching then of course it’s should be done]. That is what your you imply. Most priests with good training do what I say, others unfortunately do not, some even encourage certain sins as natural.

        • Not to judge…when the very serious sin of scandal is present?

          Is Cordileone any less right than the correction of Peter by Paul?

        • We sin because we are sinners. Confession shows that we honour God. It is far better to be obedient than have to confess, yet God has provided the blessing of confession because He knows the spirt is willing but, the flesh is weak.

          Forgiveness is a gift of God. A great price was paid by Jesus Christ on the cross. He died for our sins and His precious blood is the propitiation for our sins. Let us try not to sin, yet rejoice that He loves us and restores us to faith through His redeeming work at Calvary.

  20. https://catholicherald.co.uk/holy-communion-given-to-muslim-and-protestant-politicians-at-mass-celebrated-by-german-bishops/
    The Church in Europe, especially Germany, is plainly in a mess. Bergoglio chooses what he wishes to see and hear, as do those who are his are «acolytes». Doctrine, teaching, authority he subverts by his particular management technique. Truly, he believes in making a mess in the belief that «something» might arise from the confusion.
    What that «something» might be he trusts to chance. Is this style of management not an example of the dread clericalism run amok?
    I ask myself, why would a «Muslim» even contemplate the reception of the Holy Eucharist except to commit a public act of sacrilege, an act equivalent to spitting on the Qur’an.
    The possibility of two ex popes is beyond fiction.

  21. Not to judge even in the presence of manifest public sin…Scandal?

    Was Cordileone any less right than Paul in rebuking Peter?

  22. We read that “Archbishop Anthony Poola of Hyderabad, 60, also comes from India. He will be the first Dalit to become a cardinal, giving a solid signal to Indian society.”

    And a special signal for more than India. In Uttar Pradesh state (upper central India, pop. 200 million), child slavery is deeply embedded in society, where 10-year-olds and younger of the Dalit caste (outcasts) are missing from school because they’re digging up mica with sharp sticks to help the meager family income–at 8-center per kilo, to eventually be sold at $1,000 per kilo in world markets and the black market. Mica for use in modern electronics (personal computers!), to add luster to our automobile paint, and even as a filler for cement. The path from the sharp sticks to final use passes through an impenetrable sequence of middlemen.

    A message to the exploited Dalits in India, and internationally to we who benefit.

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