19 Cardinals to be created at the Consistory of 22 February 2014

On Sunday, 12 January 2014, at the Angelus of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Pope Francis announced that 19 new Cardinals will be created at the consistory planned to be held on the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, 22 February 2014.


Here are the names of the new Cardinals or Cardinal-elects, and some short explanation on them :

1. Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Secretary of the Secretariat of State – 58 (Age)


Being the highest position in the Church just below that of the Pope himself, Archbishop Parolin as the Secretariat of State is a certain candidate for the Cardinalate to be made at this consistory, and the position itself is explicitly stated to have to be held by a Cardinal (As Cardinal Secretary of State)


2. Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops – 73


Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri is also the Secretary of the College of Cardinals and therefore was the Secretary of the Conclave that elected Pope Francis on 13 March 2013.

It was reported and confirmed by sighting that the Pope had placed his own red zucchetto (skullcap) on the head of Archbishop Baldisseri, which by ancient custom (last used by Blessed Pope John XXIII on the Secretary of that time, Monsignor Alberto di Jorio in 1958) mark that the new Pope wants to bestow the red hat on the prelate. Hence, the elevation of Archbishop Baldisseri is pretty much certain.


3. Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – 66


As the Prefect of a Congregation, and one as important as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith once held by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he was elected Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller is a certain candidate for the Cardinalate, and sure enough, he is one of the 19 appointed.


4. Archbishop Beniamino Stella, Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy – 72


Similar with Archbishop Muller, as the Prefect of an important Roman Curia Congregation, Archbishop Stella is a certain candidate for the Cardinalate, and as a recent appointee by Pope Francis, this made his elevation very certain indeed.


5. Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Metropolitan Archbishop of Westminster (United Kingdom) – 68


With the problems that affected Cardinal Keith O’Brien early of last year and his retirement, the United Kingdom has no leading figure, which Archbishop Vincent Nichols, as the Archbishop of Westminster, the Primatial See of the United Kingdom as the obvious choice for the Cardinalate.


6. Archbishop Leopoldo Jose Brenes Solorzano, Metropolitan Archbishop of Managua (Nicaragua) – 64


As his predecessor was made Cardinal in 1985, and had been 7 years as a non-elector, it was natural that Archbishop Solorzano is made a Cardinal, representing the Central American region.


7. Archbishop Gerald Cyprien Lacroix, I.S.P.X., Metropolitan Archbishop of Quebec (Canada) – 56


The second youngest of the newly appointed Cardinals, as the Primate of Canada by virtue of being the Prelate of Quebec, it is natural for Archbishop Lacroix to be appointed Cardinal. His predecessor, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, is the current Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and was a leading papabili of the 2013 Papal Conclave.


8. Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa, Metropolitan Archbishop of Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire / Ivory Coast) – 68

Jean-Pierre Kutwa

With two of his immediate predecessors made Cardinals in 1983 and 2001 respectively, Archbishop Kutwa had a high chance of being appointed Cardinal. His appointment is a nod to the Church in Africa, a growing community of the faithful, one with the Universal Church.


9. Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta, O. Cist., Metropolitan Archbishop of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) – 63

Dom Orani João Tempesta

As the head of a Cardinalatial see, with all five of his immediate predecessors made Cardinals, and with the limelight gained from the 2013 World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Archbishop Tempesta is a certain candidate for the Cardinalate.


10. Archbishop Gualtiero Bassetti, Metropolitan Archbishop of Perugia-Citta della Pieve (Italy) – 71


His long ago predecessor, Cardinal Vincenzo Gioacchino Pecci was elected Pope Leo XIII in 1878. Since then Perugia had had no Cardinal. This elevation of Archbishop Bassetti to the Cardinalate would honour the memory of Pope Leo XIII and give chance to other Italian Archdioceses to get the red hat besides the major, Cardinalate ones. Archbishop Bassetti is also known for his pastoral nature and hard work for his Archdiocese.


11. Archbishop Mario Aurelio Poli, Metropolitan Archbishop of Buenos Aires (Argentina) – 66


As the successor of Pope Francis as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Archbishop Poli is a natural and certain choice for the Cardinalate.


12. Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Metropolitan Archbishop of Seoul (South Korea) – 70


Among the three great Asian nations known for their Cardinals, namely Hong Kong (China), South Korea, and the Philippines, only South Korea at the moment has no Cardinal-elector. Hence, Archbishop Andrew Yeom is an almost confirmed choice for the Cardinalate, and indeed, he was chosen.


13. Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, S.D.B., Metropolitan Archbishop of Santiago (Chile) – 72


Another Cardinalatial see in the Latin Americas, and therefore, Archbishop Ezzati Andrello is one of the few possible choices for the Cardinalate. Another Cardinal to increase the proportion of Latin America in the Sacred College of Cardinals.


14. Archbishop Philippe Nakellentuba Ouedraogo, Metropolitan Archbishop of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) – 68


One of his predecessor was made Cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1965, and therefore Archbishop Ouedraogo was a potential candidate for the Cardinalate for Africa region.


15. Archbishop Orlando Beltran Quevedo, O.M.I., Metropolitan Archbishop of Cotabato (Philippines) – 74


A rather suprising choice because Archbishop Quevedo is already 74 and therefore is just one year from the mandatory retirement age, although this may be extended towards 80, as was quite common in recent years among Asian Cardinals.

Geographically the choice made sense because the Philippines does deserve more Cardinals, and so far the Cardinalatial sees only cover the north (Manila) and central (Cebu) portions of the country. A Cardinal from the southern island of Mindanao is a good sign indeed.


16. Bishop Chibly Langlois, Bishop of Les Cayes (Haiti) – 55


The youngest of the newly appointed Cardinals, from a relatively less important diocese in the Caribbean region. This choice is a nod both to the plight of the people of Haiti after the earthquake that happened a few years earlier, as well as the rising importance of the region to the Universal Church.


There are three Cardinal non-electors (over the age of 80) appointed in this Consistory, usually for their great and long contribution and dedication to the Church :


17. Archbishop Loris Francesco Capovilla, Archbishop-Prelate Emeritus of Loreto (Italy) – 98


The oldest of the newly appointed Cardinals at 98, likely the oldest person ever appointed a Cardinal. Archbishop Capovilla was renowned for being the long-time private secretary to Blessed Pope John XXIII.

As the aforementioned Pope will be canonised this coming April, it is an obvious nod to his memory that Archbishop Capovilla, coupled with his long and dedicated service, that he is made a Cardinal.


18. Archbishop Fernando Sebastian Aguilar, C.M.F., Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus of Pamplona y Tudela (Spain) – 84



19. Archbishop Kelvin Edward Felix, Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus of Castries (Saint Lucia) – 80


Another appointee for the Caribbean region, even though being over 80, it was rather honorary in nature, but nevertheless it was to highlight the importance of the New World in the Universal Church.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Our Lord and God is merciful and loving, He is gentle and tender with love. Although He hates sin and despises those who committed sin before Him, with. His love, He is willing to forgive all trespasses, providing that we ourselves commit ourselves to repentance and changing our ways to follow the Lord with all of our hearts and with all of our strengths.

God listens to the prayer of mankind, when they asked Him with sincerity and true devotion, and will not abandon His beloved ones to doom or damnation. Yes, it will be the same as just when He heard the prayer of Hannah, who conceived with the grace of God after remained barren for so long. Not only that, but Hannah even gained many children after she presented her firstborn, Samuel, to the service of God.

Mankind had been long enthralled by the power of evil and sin, ever since sin entered into us through the disobedience of our ancestors, who turned away from the Lord and instead listened to the tempting words and lies of the evil spirits, the greatest of which was none other than Satan himself. Evil spirits entered the hearts of men and possessed those who were weak against them. They twisted mankind and made them to go further in their disobedience against their Creator.

But they have no authority or power against the One whom the Lord had sent into this world in order to bring mankind and all creations out of the dominion of the evil one, and back into the dominion of the Lord. That is why the evil spirits fear Jesus, whom they certainly know to be the One sent by God to liberate God’s people from their dominion and tyranny.

The evil spirits were once rebel angels who followed the great enemy, Lucifer, into his rebellion against the Lord, the one who claimed power beyond the Most High. They were defeated and cast down together with him, and just as he became Satan, the great enemy, they became the evil spirits who were against the people of God.

They know of the ultimate fate that awaits them at the end of time, and the punishment that they deserve. They are all to suffer with Satan for eternity at the lake of fire, forever sundered from the grace of God just as all mankind who never repented or loved the Lord. That is why they feared the Lord and always tried to dissuade Him from torturing them with His power and authority.

Brothers and sisters in Christ! How lamentable it is indeed, that even evil spirits acknowledge the power and authority of Jesus Christ as Lord and God, while many of us continue to ignore and reject Him from our lives. It is lamentable indeed that we do not remain faithful to Him, but instead follow in the rebellion of Satan, the evil one. We easily fall into temptation and succumb to the power of the devil in the world.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all reflect on our own actions, words and deeds. Have they all been for or against the Lord? Have we acted in a way that is rebellious against the will of God as the fallen angels and Satan did? Let us all use this opportunity to think and remember, that the actions against the will of God will only lead to death and ultimate destruction, the fate that the evil spirits feared very, very much when Jesus came to them.

If they fear such fate, then all the more, all of us as the children of God should avoid such fate with the best of our abilities. We all should resolve to be ever more obedient to the Lord and follow His will, that we too will not share the fate that these spirits will face as their judgment. Let us always remain true to the Lord and walk always in His path. God be with us all. Amen.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 1 : 21b-28

Jesus taught in the synagogue on the sabbath day. The people were astonished at the way He taught, for He spoke as One having authority and not like the teachers of the Law.

It happened that a man with an evil spirit was in their synagogue, and he shouted, “What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are : You are the Holy One of God.”

Then Jesus faced him and said with authority, “Be silent, and come out of this man!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and, with a loud shriek, came out of him.

All the people were astonished, and they wondered, “What is this? With what authority He preaches! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey Him!” And Jesus’ fame spread throughout all the country of Galilee.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Samuel 2 : 1, 4-5, 6-7, 8abcd

My heart exults in YHVH, I feel strong in my God. I rejoice and laugh at my enemies for You came with power to save me.

The bow of the mighty is broken but the weak are girded with strength. The well-fed must labour for bread but the hungry need work no more. The childless wife has borne seven children, but the proud mother is left alone.

YHVH is Lord of life and death; He brings down to the grave and raises up. YHVH makes poor and makes rich, He brings low and He exalts.

He lifts up the lowly from the dust, and raises the poor from the ash heap; they will be called to the company of princes, and inherit a seat of honour.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

1 Samuel 1 : 9-20

After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah stood up not far from Eli, the priest : his seat was beside the doorpost of YHVH’s house. Deeply distressed she went and prayed to YHVH and made this vow, “O YHVH of hosts, if only You will have compassion on Your maidservant and give me a son, I will put him in Your service for as long as he lives and no razor shall touch his head.”

As she prayed before YHVH, Eli observed the movement of her lips. Hannah was praying silently; she moved her lips but uttered no sound and Eli thought Hannah was drunk. He, therefore, said to her : “For how long will you be drunk? Let your drunkenness pass.”

But Hannah answered : “No, my lord, I am a woman in great distress, not drunk. I have not drunk wine or strong drink, but I am pouring out my soul before YHVH. Do not take me for a bad woman. I was so afflicted that my prayer flowed continuously.”

Then Eli said, “Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant you what you asked for.” Hannah answered, “Let Your maidservant deserve Your kindness.” Then she left the temple and when she was at table, she seemed a different woman.

Elkanah rose early in the morning and worshipped before YHVH with his wives. Then they went back home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with his wife, Hannah, YHVH took compassion on her, and she became pregnant. She gave birth to a son and called him Samuel because she said : “I have asked YHVH to give him to me.”

Monday, 13 January 2014 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Today, brothers and sisters in Christ, we begin with the catechesis on the story of the prophet Samuel, one of the great prophet of the Old Testament, who was presented to the Lord by his parents, as the gratitude for the fulfillment of God’s love to a barren woman, Hannah, the mother of Samuel. From him would come the first two kings of Israel, namely Saul and David, the great king.

There were actually lots of similarities between the case of Samuel with that of the life of Jesus. Samuel was born from a woman who had not been able to conceive while the other wife of her husband conceived many children. Meanwhile John the Baptist, the herald of the coming of the Messiah, was born after his parents had not been able to conceive a child for many years, and were born only when they were already very old.

Samuel marked the transition period between the judges of Israel and the kings of Israel, while John the Baptist marked the period just before the coming of the Lord, the Messiah, to be the king among His people. Jesus Christ was also the descendant of David, the long awaited and prophesied descendant who would inherit the kingdom given to David the king, and rule it for eternity.

Samuel came to a people who had often forgotten about the Lord their God who saved them from suffering in slavery, and who liberated them with great might. They followed the wicked ways of their neighbours and the people who lived around them, worshipping their idols and false gods, and following their wicked customs inappropriate for the people of God.

Samuel came and made correct the attitude of the people, calling them to repent and follow the will and the laws of God, that they would once again become God’s righteous people. The same happened to John the Baptist, who came to prepare the way for the coming of Christ the Lord. John came to a people who outwardly might seem to be devout and law-abiding, but inside, they have no God or the love for God inside them.

Samuel and John came with the same purpose, that is to open the way for the Lord into the hearts of His people, that the people who had forgotten God’s love could once again enter the heart of His people. They called the people to repent from their sinful ways and once again turned their hearts towards God. Once they have done their duties, they stepped aside for the new era of glory, that is the new king to be the head of all the people, first in Saul and then David, and for John, the coming of the One True King Himself, King of kings and Lord of lords.

Let us then focus on Jesus, who came and called His first disciples in today’s Gospel. He called them, poor fishermen at the lake of Galilee. They were called, that they would no longer to fish for fishes to sell, but instead fish out for mankind, to be the fishers of men, especially those who have been lost to God, that they all may once again be reunited with their loving God through Jesus His Son.

These were to be His Apostles, the chosen ones among His first disciples, who followed Him and listened to His teachings, and to whom He revealed the greater part of the mystery of God and the plan of salvation that God had prepared in Jesus. Then, they were sent off to help with the ministry of Jesus as He went around proclaiming the Good News and the kingdom of God, performing healing and miracles as they went.

After the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus to assume His position of power in heaven, they were sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and since then they and their successors went around the world, proclaiming the faith and the truth that is in Jesus, Son of God and Saviour of the world. Even until today, the Church which Christ Himself had established in this world continue to speak out for Him and proclaim His words to all.

Why are all these so important, brothers and sisters in Christ? That is because our Lord will come again as He had promised, that at the end of time, He will once again descend from heaven, this time as a mighty and conquering King, who will rule over all those who remain faithful to Him, while those who reject Him will be cast away into eternal damnation and suffering.

The prophets Samuel and John the Baptist, as well as the Apostles and disciples of Christ essentially all did the same thing, that is to proclaim the Kingdom of God, the Good News and hope in the Messiah and Lord, who will come and save His people. From time to time, the Lord had continued to reveal and repeat His message and promise to us, and His servants in this world continue to proclaim that message and promise to all.

We too, brethren, have a part to play in all these. We too are called to be witnesses of God’s Good News and revelation of truth, that we who believe in Him, may also proclaim His truth to all, to everyone around us, within our own families, within our circle of friends, and within our society. We are also called to be the servant of God and spread His words to all.

Therefore, let us all do our best, to be part of God’s mission, which He had entrusted to us. We all have our part to do in this, just as John the Baptist, Samuel, the Holy Apostles and other saints of God had done their respective parts. May we therefore do our best to bring the Light of God’s salvation and the fruits of God’s word to all mankind, and to bring mankind closer to God, as fishers of men, just as the Apostles were once called. Amen.

Monday, 13 January 2014 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)

Mark 1 : 14-20

After John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee and began preaching the Good News of God. He said, “The time has come; the kingdom of God is at hand. Change your ways and believe the Good News.”

As Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, He saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fish for people.”

At once, they abandoned their nets and followed Him. Jesus went a little farther on and saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee; they were in their boat mending their nets.

Immediately Jesus called them and they followed Him, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men.