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.

Cardinabili List for the Cardinal Consistory of 22 February 2014

Here is my own list of the potential candidates for the Cardinalate, to receive the red biretta in the Consistory next month.

The final list is not yet known, and while some in this list may not be chosen, it is possible all of them are chosen, and there may be even names outside this list I have compiled too. Pray for them!


Cardinal Consistory of 22 February 2014 (Feast of the Chair of St. Peter)


Almost Certain



1. Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Secretary of the Secretariat of State

2. Archbishop Beniamino Stella, Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy

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

4. Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops



5. Patriarch Francesco Moraglia, Patriarch of Venice (Italy)

6. Archbishop Mario Aurelio Poli, Metropolitan Archbishop of Buenos Aires (Argentina)



Very likely



6. Patriarch Manuel Jose Macario do Nascimento Clemente, Patriarch of Lisbon (Portugal)

7. Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Metropolitan Archbishop of Westminster (United Kingdom)

8. Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, Metropolitan Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels (Belgium)

9. Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halyc (Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church)

10. Archbishop Jose Serafio Palma, Metropolitan Archbishop of Cebu (Philippines)

11. Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Metropolitan Archbishop of Seoul (South Korea)

12. Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, Metropolitan Archbishop of Kampala (Uganda)

13. Archbishop Odon Razanakolona, Metropolitan Archbishop of Antananarivo (Madagascar)

14. Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta, Metropolitan Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

15. Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, S.D.B., Metropolitan Archbishop of Santiago (Chile)





16. Archbishop Jean-Louis Brugues, O.P., Head of the Vatican Secret Archives and the Vatican Apostolic Library

17. Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation

18. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family



19. Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Metropolitan Archbishop of Philadelphia (USA)

20. Archbishop Rogelio Cabrera Lopez, Metropolitan Archbishop of Monterrey (Mexico)

21. Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada, Metropolitan Archbishop of Tokyo (Japan)

22. Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo, Metropolitan Archbishop of Jakarta (Indonesia)

23. Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak, Patriarch of Alexandria (Head of the Coptic Catholic Church)

24. Archbishop Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij, Metropolitan Archbishop of Bangkok (Thailand)

25. Archbishop Eustaqio Pastor Cuquejo Verga, Metropolitan Archbishop of Asuncion (Paraguay)

26. Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia, Metropolitan Archbishop of Turin (Italy)

Thursday, 5 December 2013 : 1st Week of Advent (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/ Violet

Brethren, those who trust in the Lord shall not fail, but those who trust only in themselves, and in their own feeble human power, shall fail. Those who places their trust in the Lord shall not be disappointed. After all, have God ever disappointed us thus far? If we think that God did disappoint us at some point of time in the past, let us take some time and reflect.

We often say or think that the Lord does nothing for us, or that we became angry when we asked God for something, and yet we did not get it. We became disappointed in God and no longer put our trust in Him. Many in our world today certainly think so. That is why they prefer their own intellect and reason to the trust and faith in the Lord.

They prefer to believe in their own achievements and glories, shutting themselves from the Lord. This is just as how many people in our world becoming proud of their life achievements. I am sure you have met in your lives, people who boast of their wealth, the number of cars and credit cards that they possess, and the countless amenities they have in their homes, the comfortable lifestyle that they lead in life.

And they do not give thanks to the Lord who had blessed them with these kindness and graces. Thus, the Lord forsakes them and they have no part in the salvation that the Lord grants to all who believe in Him. If we want to be part of the Lord’s glory at the end of time, then we ought to follow Him, obey Him, and show Him our love and dedication, just as He had loved us and dedicated Himself to us.

But this is not all that is there to it. Even among us who believe and trust in the Lord, we cannot just be idle and be ignorant of the laws and precepts of the Lord. We cannot proclaim that we are the disciples and children of the Lord and yet our actions show otherwise. We cannot be hypocrites who only keep our faith in words and yet no concrete actions to support our faith.

Yes, brethren, for a faith made only with the profession of the mouth is like that of a house without firm foundations, built on the shaky sand. Once a storm and flood comes by, the weakly built home will fall down and stumble. Such are also the things that happened to many people in the world today. Their faith in God is not supported by firm and concrete actions. Their faith can even be said as to be only on paper.

That is why, many of our brethren in faith, while they confess the Lord as their God, they do not practice their faith in their daily actions. They believe in things contrary to the faith and to the laws of God. I can give you many examples of such hypocrisy. There are many who belong to the Church, and do things such as abortion, murder, lies, and many other things against the teachings of the Lord.

They are those who built their house on unstable and shaky grounds, those who are heading towards doom instead of salvation in the Lord. That is because their faith is essentially dead. We have to truly believe in what we believe, that we have a truly living and concrete faith. In that way, our house will be built on secure ground, strong and secure against any kind of obstructions or distractions.

Today, I also would like to recall something which had happened two years ago. A fellow schoolmate from my Alma Mater passed away today, exactly two years ago, at a young age of a teenager. He was a victim of violent acts, which rightly still ravage many parts of our world today. He was a good and loving person, a child of God no less. That he was taken from us because of unfortunate occurrence, served as a reminder, how, even though we have our faith in God, there are still so many things that we can do, and we need to do.

Taking the example of violence, which took away this young person’s life prematurely, we have to see that violence is a failure to achieve peace, and hatred is likewise a failure to love. We may think that, oh, that is another’s actions, why should I be bothered? And why should it have any impact on me? No, brethren, this is not the way we should think or act. That is because, any act of violence or hatred means that we have partially failed in acting and living out our faith.

I would also like to relate this to the story of Nelson Mandela, the great fighter for human rights in South Africa, who passed away just today at the age of 95. Nelson Mandela is an inspiration for all of us, brothers and sisters, because he did not condone violence and hatred, even in order to achieve his agenda, to bring equality to the African people in South Africa. He preferred ways of peace and love, that is the way of the Lord, and even though he languished for more than two decades in prison, he did not give up his ways.

Had Nelson Mandela resorted to violence and hatred, the South Africa as we know today may have been very different. Civil war, killing fields, and all others, which we saw too commonly happening in many countries, which history had been marred by violence and hatred. Instead, Nelson Mandela was respected, firstly because of his stand against the discriminatory and racist policy of Apartheid, but also because he championed the way of peace and love, exactly how we should do as well, if we are truly faithful in God. Our faith cannot remain as mere words, but have to be translated into our actions as well.

Hence, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we pray for the souls of these departed ones, and remembering how many people in the past had faithfully been following the ways of the Lord, not only in words but also in concrete actions, let us today heed from the warnings of the Lord, on the need for us to re-orientate our lives, so that we will conform more to the teachings of the Lord. We cannot be half-hearted in our faith in God. We have to dedicate ourselves, through none other than exercising love, both for God and for our fellow mankind, in all of our actions, words, and deeds.

Profess our faith in the Lord, and show it with real action. Be wise like those who built their house on solid ground. Yes, build our house with the foundation of strong faith in God. With God as our base and foundation, we shall never falter. God is always with us. May God shine His graces upon us, bless us, and make us prosper beyond our imagination, and strengthen our faith in Him, now and forever. Amen.

Seventh General Congregation of the College of Cardinals, and the Eighth (decision on the Conclave date)

During the Seventh General Congregation of the College of Cardinals this Friday morning, 8 March 2013, the College of Cardinals had accepted the letters of the two Cardinals who are unable to attend the Conclave due to health issue (Cardinal Darmaatmadja of Jakarta) and other reasons (Cardinal O’Brien of Scotland, UK), according to the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis and the modifications in the Motu Proprio Normas Nonnullas.

The morning meeting had also discussed the modifications made on the Article 37 of the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis, which deals on the earliest starting date of the Conclave, which originally must be at least 15 days from the Vacancy of the Apostolic See, but then because the modifications made by the Motu Proprio Normas Nonnullas, which provided for a waiver of the 15 days waiting period, allow for an earlier start providing all the Cardinal-electors are already in Rome.

As all the Cardinal-electors are already in Rome, they can immediately decide on when to begin the Conclave, which is scheduled to be done and voted in the Eighth General Congregation on Friday afternoon. Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed that the Conclave will not begin either tomorrow (Saturday) or Sunday. The Conclave is likely to begin either Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday (11-13 March 2013)

There will be only one General Congregation session on Saturday morning, that is the Ninth General Congregation of the College of Cardinals. The Cardinals too may go and visit (may not be all of them) their titular Churches in Rome (I will publish the list of the titular Churches for each Cardinals, and if possible, the addresses of each in Rome, in case anyone looking to meet any of the Cardinals in Rome for the Sunday Mass) for Sunday Mass to pray for the election of the new Pope and for the Conclave. Each of the Cardinals are given a titular church in Rome upon his appointment as a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church.

Cardinal Prosper Grech from Malta, who is a Cardinal non-elector, will be the one giving out the second of the two meditations as mandated by the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis, to be given out prior to the beginning of the Conclave.

18 Cardinals spoke in the morning meeting and several inteventions had also been made, on several issues from rules of the Conclave to other matters. Issues covered are bioethics, interreligious dialogue, collegiality, role of the Church in the world, in justice, and others.

A video is shown to the reporters during the press briefing by Fr. Federico Lombardi, head of the Holy See Press Office, on Friday afternoon, on the place where the Cardinal-electors will reside during the duration of the Conclave (currently the Cardinals are staying in different locations in Rome, but will move in to the place after the Conclave begins), which is called Domus Sancta Marthae, commissioned by the late Blessed Pope John Paul II, and was also used in the 2005 Conclave. Shown was the spartan but comfortable lodgings of the Cardinal-electors. The Cardinals will be assigned the rooms randomly.

Add : 220,000 people had ‘adopted’ a Cardinal through the Adopt a Cardinal website, and pray for them during this period.

Pictures of all 115 Cardinal-electors of the Holy Roman Church heading into the Conclave


On the Vatican photo website above you can find the pictures of each and every one of the Cardinal-electors, in fact all 117 of them, including Cardinal Julius Darmaatmadja of Indonesia who will not be attending the Conclave due to health problems and failing eyesight, and Cardinal Edwin Frederick O’ Brien of Scotland, UK, who will not be attending the Conclave due to serious allegations against him.

Nevertheless, we pray for both Cardinal O’ Brien and Cardinal Darmaatmadja that God will always be with them, and of course we pray for all the rest of the Cardinal-electors who will go into the Conclave to elect the new Pope! May the Holy Spirit be with them and guide them through until we hear “Habemus Papam! We have a Pope!”

Cardinal Darmaatmadja of Indonesia will skip the Conclave due to health reasons : Cardinal-electors for the Conclave now stand at 116


Cardinal Julius Riyadi Darmaatmadja, Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus of Jakarta, Indonesia, who is now 78, has declined to go and attend the Conclave due to health reasons, particularly badly failing eyesight and other health issues, which he determined would prevent him from effectively participating in the Conclave processes.

We pray for Cardinal Darmaatmadja that God will continue to bless him, and sustain him, even through the health problems that he face at the moment. May God bless and protect him from afflictions, that he will remain in great vigour to continue the mission entrusted to him by God even in retirement.

As originally, barring any death between now and the beginning of the Conclave, there would have been 117 Cardinals, Cardinal Darmaatmadja’s decision reduce the number of the Cardinal-electors at the conclave to 116.

Saturday, 19 January 2013 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflection)

Today, the first reading shows us that Christ is our great High Priest, and the Gospel tells about the story of the calling of Levi, the tax collector.

Christ, is our great High Priest, and similar to the ancient Jewish custom, the priest is the one offering sacrifice to God. Most important is the sacrifice for sins, for which, the people who sin must present animals like bulls, sheep, and goat, which the priest will kill before the altar and let the blood be poured on it, that symbolised the reunion of the person with God, through the forgiveness of sin.

Why then Christ is the great High Priest? Since He is not just any High Priest, or any priest, since it is through Him that all mankind, Jews and Gentiles alike, were saved from the chains and tyranny of sin, the Original Sin, forever. It is through His Precious Blood, the very Blood of the Son of God, poured on the ‘altar’ of Calvary while hanging on the cross, that just like the blood of the animals, our sins are forgiven. But while blood of animals require constant sacrifices to God, the Blood of Christ require just one singular moment of the Ultimate Sacrifice, as the Lamb of God was slain, for the redemption of all mankind for all times.Then one might ask, why then do Catholics celebrate the Mass? The Mass is known as the Sacrifice, and thus people may ask, why do Catholics crucify the Lord again, and sacrifice Him again, when Christ died only once for our sake? Yes, the Mass is a Sacrifice, where the bread and wine truly turns into the Precious Body and Blood of our Saviour upon the Consecration by the priests, but this Sacrifice is not a separate Sacrifice from the very Ultimate Sacrifice that God has made on Calvary. 

Rather, this is one and united with the Ultimate Sacrifice, just as God has given His Body and Blood for His disciples on the Last Supper, through the priest’s authority and power, given by God, we too receive our share in this Body and Blood, which saves and renews us. We should aim to frequently attend the Mass, and frequently receive our Lord’s Body and Blood, that we are always constantly reminded of His presence in us, with our bodies as His Holy Temple. Let us therefore strive to keep ourselves holy and unblemished, as best as we can. We are sinners and our flesh in weak, even though our spirit is strong. As God is within us, just as He is omniscient, He will know everything that we did, good or bad. There is no need to hide before God, since everything is truly known to Him. Rather than be afraid and hide our sins before Him, let us rather allow Him to speak to us, He, as the Word of God, has power to heal us through His words, just as in yesterday’s Gospel He healed the paralytic through the faith of the people around him. We too therefore can be healed.

Healing is not only for the body, but also, very importantly, for the soul. Jesus did not come to save those already healthy in body and spirit, those who already merited Heaven, but He truly came to save all those who are in danger of separation from God. In the Gospel, we see that nobody is beyond redemption, just as Jesus called the tax collector, Levi. In the time of Jesus, the Jews saw the tax collectors in a very bad light, calling them traitors as they collected taxes for their Roman masters from the people, and sinners as they deal with money and material goods that was held to have tainted them.

Yet, if one is to compare the reactions from the tax collectors, particularly Levi, and the supposedly clean and incorruptible Pharisees and the priests, we can truly see who has the heart filled with humility to approach the Lord and ask for His forgiveness, and who truly has the Lord in their minds and their hearts.

The Pharisees were too busy with their laws and customs to have time for God, and indeed, they were in the forefront of those who rejected Christ, and called Him a blasphemer for claiming to be the Messiah and the Son of God. On the contrary, Levi, despite his good and stable job as a tax collector, while vilified by the people, readily leave everything that he had and followed Jesus when He called him. No sinner is beyond redemption, as long as the sinner is ready to leave all that he had, his sins and his sinful ways, and be humble to ask God for His mercy. For the Lord is merciful as much as He hated sin. It only takes humility for us to admit that we have sinned before Him, and He will gladly forgive us and take us back into His embrace. Do not let pride get the better of us.

In this Year of Faith therefore, let us strive to be closer to God, to listen to God through our prayers, and to help one another in our journey towards the Lord. Let us like Levi, be humble and be ready to respond to God’s call whenever He calls. Help one another, that all of us sinners, can all be forgiven by God, and not a single soul will be lost. Isn’t it better for all of us to be in Heaven one day, than to have one of us separated from us for eternity just because we did not stretch our hands to help? Through our baptism we have also been called to be priests, to help bring the Word of God to those who are still living in darkness. Let us therefore joyfully take up this mission and spread the love of God to all mankind, that all people will be saved. Amen.

(Addition : Please pray for the victims of the terrible flooding which is still ongoing in Jakarta, Indonesia. Countless thousands or tens of thousands or more are still suffering from the immense flooding that had caused many deaths and losses. Let us help our fellow brothers and sisters in whatever way we can, either financially, or even just a single prayer. For the Lord hears our prayer, especially those that are made with pure and sincere heart).