During today’s Angelus, the Holy Father Francis announced a consistory for the creation of new cardinals. The following are the Pope’s words:
Words of the Holy Father
Dear brothers and sisters,
This coming 28 November - on the eve of the first Sunday of Advent - I will hold a consistory for the appointment of thirteen new cardinals.
The following are the names of the new cardinals:
Bishop Mario Grech, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops
Bishop Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints;
Archbishop Antoine Kambanda of Kigali, Rwanda;
Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington;
Archbishop José Advincula of Capiz, Philippines;
Archbishop Celestino Aós Braco of Santiago de Chile;
Bishop Cornelius Sim, titular bishop of Putia in Numidia and vicar apostolic of Brunei, Kuala Lumpur;
Archbishop Augusto Paolo Lojudice of Siena-Colle Val d’Elsa-Montalcino;
Fra Mauro Gambetti, conventual Franciscan, custodian of the Sacred Convent of Assisi.
With them I will unite as members of the College of Cardinals:
Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, bishop emeritus of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico;
Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, titular archbishop of Asolo, Apostolic Nuncio;
Fra Raniero Cantalamessa, Capuchin, preacher of the Papal Household;
Msgr Enrico Feroci, parish priest of Holy Mary of the Divine Love in Castel di Leva.
Let us pray for the new Cardinals, so that, in confirming their adherence to Christ, they may help me in my ministry as Bishop of Rome, for the good of the entire holy faithful People of God.
Brief bibliographies of the cardinals to be created
Bishop Mario Grech, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops
Born in Qala, Malta, in the diocese of Gozo on 20 February 1957, Bishop Mario Grech completed his primary and secondary studies in the Victoria lyceum in Gozo, and studied philosophy and theology in the seminary of Gozo.
Following his priestly ordination, on 26 May 1984, he continued his higher studies in Rome, obtaining a licentiate in utroque sure at the Lateran University and a doctorate in canon law at the Angelicum. Upon returning to his home country, he exercised his ministry at the Cathedral of Gozo, in the national shrine of Tá-Pinu, and he served as parish priest in the parish of Kercem. He held the offices of judicial vicar of the diocese, member of the metropolitan tribunal of Malta, teacher of canon law in the seminary and member of the college of consultors, the presbyteral council and other diocesan commissions.
On 26 November 2011 the Holy Father Benedict XVI appointed him as bishop of Gozo until 2 October 2019, when he was appointed by Pope Francis as pro-secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.
On 15 September 2020 he was appointed as secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.
Bishop Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
Born in Monteroni di Lecce on 22 December 1947, he was ordained a priest on 8 September 1971.
He received his initial formation in the Pontifical Regional Seminary of Apulia “Pius XI” and subsequently completed his studies in theology in the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, where he was awarded a licentiate and a doctorate in sacred theology. He then began his ministry in teaching in dogmatic theology in the Theological Institute of Apulia and in ecclesiology in the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Lateran University.
He was elected to the episcopal see of Oria on 25 July 1998. He transferred to the suburbicarian Church of Albano on 1 October 2004 until 15 October 2020, when he was appointed by Pope Francis as prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He is currently also apostolic administrator ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the exarchical monastery of Santa Maria di Grottaferrata and Pontifical delegate of the Basilian Order in Italy.
During the years he has served as special secretary of the 10th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on “The Bishop, servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of the World”. He participated as a member of Papal appointment at the XIV general ordinary assembly on “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World”; in the XV general assembly on “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment”, and the special assembly for the Pan-Amazon region in 2019. He Is president for the Episcopal Conference of Lazio of the Regional Commission for the doctrine of the faith, proclamation and catechesis; member of the CEI Episcopal Commission for the doctrine of the faith, proclamation and catechesis; and president of the Board of Director of “Avvenire - Nuova Editrice SpA”. He is a member of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints and the Secretariat for Communication; and consultor of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
On 13 April 2020 he was appointed as secretary of the “Council of Cardinals” for the aid of the Holy Father in the governance of the Universal Church. He has published various books, articles and dictionary entries on the theme of ecclesiology.
Archbishop Antoine Kambanda of Kigali, Rwanda
He was born on 10 November 1958 in the archdiocese of Kigali.
All members of his family were killed during the 1994 war, except for one brother, who currently lives in Italy.
He attended primary schools in Burundi and Uganda, then completed his secondary school education in Kenya. He returned to Rwanda after finishing his studies in philosophy and two years of theology. He completed his theological studies in the Major Seminary of Nyakibanda (diocese of Butare).
He was ordained a priest on 8 September 1990 by Saint John Paul II, on the occasion of his pastoral visit to Rwanda.
Since ordination he has held the following positions: 1990-1993: professor and prefect of the minor seminary of Ndera, Kigali; 1993-1999: higher studies at the Alphonsian Academy in Rome, where he obtained his doctorate in moral theology, residing at the Pontifical College of Saint Paul; 1999-2005: director of the diocesan Caritas of Kigali, director of the Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace, professor of moral theology at the major seminary of theology in Nyakibanda, and spiritual director of the major seminary in Rutongo; 2005-2006: rector of the major seminary of philosophy in Kabgayi; since 2006: rector of the Saint Charles Major Seminary in Nyakibanda, in the diocese of Butare.
On 7 May 2013 he was appointed as bishop of the diocese of Kibungo until 19 November 2018, when the Holy Father Francis appointed him archbishop of Kigali.
Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington
Born on 7 December 1947 in Chicago, Illinois, he attended elementary schools in Chicago and then entered the Quigley Preparatory Seminary. He carried out his studies in philosophy at Niles College, and in theology at the Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois. He was subsequently awarded a doctorate in liturgy from the Pontifical Saint Anselm Athenaeum in Rome, in 1980.
He was ordained a priest on 9 May 1973 for the archdiocese of Chicago.
Since priestly ordination, he has held the following positions: parish vicar of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Glenview; student in Rome (1976-1979); professor of liturgy at Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, member of the archdiocesan office for the liturgy, and Master of Ceremonies for Cardinals Cody and Bernardin (1980-1983).
He was appointed as titular bishop of Oliva and auxiliary of Chicago on 18 October 1983. On 29 December 1993 he was transferred to the see of Belleville, Illinois, of which he took possession on 10 February 1994.
He was appointed metropolitan archbishop of Atlanta, Georgia, on 9 December 2004.
He was president (2001-2004), vice-president (1998-2001), and member of the Executive and Administrative Committees, the Committee on Doctrine, and the Committee on International Policy; chair of the Committee on Personnel, the Committee on the Third Millennium/Jubilee Year 2000 (1998-2001) and the Committee on Liturgy (1991-1993).
On 4 April 2019 Pope Francis appointed him as metropolitan archbishop of Washington.
In addition to English, he speaks Italian and Spanish.
Archbishop José Advincula of Capiz, Philippines
He was born in Dumalag, in the archdiocese of Capiz, on 30 March 1952. After finishing his primary school education in Dumalag, he entered the high school of the Saint Pius X Seminary in Roxas City, where he also remained to carry out his philosophical studies. He then attended theology courses at Santo Tomas University in Manila.
He was ordained a priest for the archdiocese of Capiz on 14 April 1976. He was later appointed as spiritual director of the Saint Pius X Seminary, also acting as professor and dean of studies. He then began his studies, first in psychology at De la Salle University in Manila and then in canon law, at both the Santo Tomas University in Manila and at the Angelicum in Rome, obtaining a licentiate in canon law. Upon returning home, he served in the seminary of Vigan, Nueva Segovia and then in the regional Seminary of Jaro. In 1995 he was appointed as rector of the Saint Pius X Seminary in Capiz, becoming defender of the bond, promoter of justice, and finally judicial vicar in Capiz. In 1999 he became parish priest of Santo Tomas de Vilanueva in Dao.
He was appointed bishop of San Carlos on 15 July 2001, and received episcopal consecration the following 8 September. On 9 November 2011 he was transferred to the metropolitan see of Capiz, in Panay Island, in the Visayas Archipelago (Central Philippines). He has served as member of the Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith and Commission for Indigenous Peoples.
Archbishop Celestino Aós Braco, O.F.M. Cap., of Santiago de Chile, Chile
He was born in Artaiz, archdiocese of Pamplona, Spain, on 6 April 1945. He completed his philosophical studies in Zaragoza and his theological studies in Pamplona.
He was awarded a licentiate in psychology at the University of Barcelona, Spain.
He gave his religious temporal profession as a Capuchin Franciscan on 15 August 1964 in Sangüesa and his perpetual profession on 16 September 1967 in Pamplona. He was ordained a priest in Pamplona on 30 March 1968.
As a priest he subsequently held the following roles: in Spain he was professor in Lecaroz - Navarre, vicar in Tudela, professor in Pamplona and vicar in Zaragoza. He was sent to Chile in 1983, where he served as parish vicar of the parish of Longavi, superior of the community in Los Ángeles, parish priest of San Miguel in Viña del Mar, superior of the community of Recreo, episcopal vicar for consecrated life of the diocese of Valparaiso, and, since 2008, parish vicar of the parish of San Francisco de Asís in Los Ángeles, diocese of Santa María de Los Ángeles.
Archbishop Aós Braco has also served as provincial bursar of the Capuchins in Chile, promoter of justice of the ecclesiastical tribunal of Valparaiso, judge of the tribunal of the archdiocese of Concepción and bursar of the Chilean Association of Canon Law.
Appointed bishop of Copiapó on 25 July 2014, he received episcopal ordination the following 18 October. On 23 March 2019, he was appointed as apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the archdiocese of Santiago de Chile.
On 27 December 2019, the Holy Father Francis appointed him as archbishop of Santiago de Chile.
Bishop Cornelius Sim, titular bishop of Putia in Numidia and vicar apostolic of Brunei, Kuala Lumpur
Bishop Sim was born on 16 September 1951. He graduated in engineering from Dundee University, Scotland, United Kingdom, and was awarded a master’s degree in theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, United States of America.
He was ordained a priest on 26 November 1989. After working in various parishes, in 1995 he was appointed as vicar general of Brunei, on 21 November 1997, prefect apostolic.
On 20 October 2004 Saint John Paul II elevated the apostolic prefecture of Brunei to the level of apostolic vicariate, and appointed him as first vicar apostolic, assigning him the titular see of Putia in Numidia.
Archbishop Augusto Paolo Lojudice of Siena-Colle Val d’Elsa-Montalcino
Archbishop Lojudice was born in Rome on 1 July 1964. After his classical high school diploma, obtained in 1983 at the San Benedetto da Norcia Lyceum, he prepared himself for the priesthood at the Pontifical Roman Major Seminary and attended courses in philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University from 1983 to 1988. He obtained his licentiate in theology with a specialisation in fundamental theology.
He was ordained a priest on 6 May 1989 for the diocese of Rome. After priestly ordination he carried out the following main roles and ministries: parish vicar of the parish of Santa Maria del Buon Consiglio (1989-1992); parish vicar of the parish of San Vigilio (1992-1997); parish priest of the parish of Santa Maria Madre del Redentore in Tor Bella Monaca (1997-2005); and spiritual father at the Pontifical Roman Major Seminary (2005-2014). From 2014 to 2015 he served as parish priest of the parish of San Luca al Prenestino.
On 6 March 2015 he was elected to the titular seat of Alba Marittima and auxiliary of Rome. He received episcopal consecration on 23 May of the same year.
He is secretary of the Episcopal Commission of the CEI for Migration.
On 6 May 2019 Pope Francis appointed him as archbishop of the archdiocese of Siena-Colle di Val d’Elsa-Montalcino.
Fra Mauro Gambetti, conventual Franciscan, custodian of the Sacred Convent of Assisi
Born on 27 October 1967 in Castel San Pietro Terme, Bologna, after graduating in mechanical engineering from the University of Bologna, he officially began his journey in the Order of Friars Minor Conventual. After the year of the novitiate he gave his temporary vows on 29 August 1995, and his permanent vows on 20 September 1998. Following his bachelor’s degree in theology from the Theological Institute of Assisi, Perugia, he was awarded a licentiate in theological anthropology from the Theological Faculty of Central Italy in Florence.
He was ordained a priest on 8 January in Longiano, Forlì-Cesena, where in the Convent of the Santissimo Crocifisso he held the office of animator of youth and vocational pastoral care for Emilia-Romagna and, from 2005 to 2009, also that of head and animator of the religious community (guardian).
In spring 2009 the confreres of the Bologna province of Saint Anthony of Padua, with jurisdiction over the convents of the Friars Minor Conventual of Emilia-Romagna, elected him as their superior (provincial minister), an office he held until 22 February 2013, when he was called by the minister general and his definition to assume the role of custos general of the General Custody of the Sacred Convent of Saint Francis in Assisi for the four-year period 2013 to 2017. At the same time the bishop of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino appointed him as episcopal vicar for the pastoral care of the Papal Basilica of Saint Francis and the other places of worship managed by the Friars Minor Conventual of the same diocese.
He was reconfirmed as custos general for the four-year term 2017-2021, and was elected president of the Intermediterranean Federation of Provincial Ministers of the Friars Minor Conventual in September 2017.
Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, emeritus of San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico
Bishop Arizmendi Esquivel was born on 1 May 1940 in Chiltepec, in the municipality of Coatepec Harinas, state of Mexico, in the then-archdiocese of Mexico, present diocese of Toluca. He completed his studies in humanities and philosophy in the seminary of Toluca, and those in theology in the Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain, where he was awarded a licentiate in dogmatic theology, subsequently specialising also in liturgy.
He was ordained a priest in 25 August 1963 in Toluca, he has held the following offices, among others: cooperator vicar in three different parishes (1963, 1964-1966, 1966-1967), prefect of philosophers and seminary professor (1963-1964), parish priest (1967-1969), spiritual director and minor seminary professor (1969-1981), head of vocational pastoral care, rector of the seminary (1981-1991), and professor of liturgy and of pastoral theology.
He was also a member of the diocesan liturgy commission (1967-1979), director of the diocesan catechistic office (1968-1969), member of the Equipo de Pastoral Juvenil (1968-1978), secretary (1970-1973) and president of the presbyteral council (1976-1979), coordinator of the diocesan commission for social communications (1982-1984) and vicar general (1989-1991).
At national level he was a member of the Equipo Nacional de Pastoral Vocacional and the Organización de Seminarios de México", of which he was also president for some time. He was also a member of the Equipo Interdisciplinar de Asesores de la Conferencia del Episcopado Mexicano. In the three-year period 1986-1989 he chaired the Organización de Seminarios de América Latina and later worked as an expert in the Departamento de Vocaciones of CELAM.
On 7 February 1991 he was appointed bishop of Tapachula and received episcopal ordination the following 7 March. During this period he was secretary general of CELAM.
On 31 March 2000, the Holy Father John Paul II appointed him bishop of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, an office he held until 3 November 2017.
Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, titular archbishop of Asolo, apostolic nuncio
Archbishop Tomasi was born on 12 October 1940 in Casoni di Mussolente, Italy. He received an educational formation in Italy and the United States where he studied theology, and was ordained a priest on 31 May 1965 in the religious Congregation of the Missionaries of Saint Charles - Scalabrinians. He received a degree in social science and a doctorate in sociology from Fordham University in New York. He was assistant professor of sociology at New York City University and at the New School of Social Research (1970-1974). As founding director of the Center for Migration Studies, Inc., he founded and edited the quarterly International Migration Review. He served as provincial superior of his religious congregation.
From 1983 to 1987, he served as the first director of the Office of Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees (PCMR) of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB/USCC).
From the end of 1989 until June 1996 he was secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.
On 27 June 1996 he was appointed as titular archbishop of Cercinia and apostolic nuncio to Ethiopia, Eritrea and observer at the African Union.
On 24 April 1999 he was appointed archbishop of Asolo and on 23 December 2000 he was appointed apostolic nuncio in Djibouti.
On 10 June 2003 he was appointed as Holy See permanent observer at the United Nations and Specialised Institutions in Geneva, and permanent observer at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), an office he held until 13 February 2016.
On 9 April 2016, the Holy Father Francis appointed him a member of the former Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, now the Department for Promoting Integral Human Development.
Fra Raniero Cantalamessa, Capuchin, Preacher of the Papal Household
Born in Colli del Tronto (AP) on 22 July 1934, Fra Cantalamessa was ordained a priest in 1958, and graduated in theology in Fribourg in Switzerland, and in classical letters at the Catholic University of Milan. Former professor of history of Christian origins and director of the Department of Religious Sciences of the University of the Sacred Heart of Milan, he was a member of the International Theological Commission from 1975 to 1981 and, for twelve years, a member of the Catholic delegation for dialogue with Pentecostal Churches. In 1979 he left teaching in order to devote himself full time to the ministry of the Word. He was appointed preacher of the papal household in 1980 by Pope John Paul II, an office confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005 and on 18 July 2013 by Pope Francis. In this capacity, every week in Advent and Lent he offers a meditation in the presence of the Pope, cardinals, bishops, prelates and general superiors of religious orders. He is called to speak in many countries of the world, often also by brethren of other Christian denominations. He holds honorary degrees in law from Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana; in communication sciences from the University of Macerata; and in theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.
Aside from scientific books written as a historian of Christian origins, on the Christology of the Fathers, Easter in the early Church and other themes, he has published several other books on spirituality, a fruit of his preaching in the Papal Household, translated into around twenty languages.
Msgr Enrico Feroci, parish priest of Holy Mary of the Divine Love in Castel di Leva
Born on 27 August 1940 in Pizzoli, Msgr. Feroci entered the Pontifical Roman Minor Seminary at the age of eleven and then, following his high school studies, continued in the Major Roman Seminary.
He was ordained a priest on 13 March 1965, and served for a year as assistant to the Pontifical Roman Minor Seminary for one year and then (1966-1968) to the Major Seminary; in 1968 he returned to the Minor Seminary as vice-rector.
In 1976 he left the Minor Seminary to become vice-parish priest of San Frumenzio ai Prati Fiscali (1976-1980) and then parish priest of the same parish (1980-2004).
For a number of mandates he was prefect of the IX Prefecture, member of the council of prefects, the presbyterial council, the council for economic affairs, the college of consultors of the diocese, participating and collaborating closely in the realisation of all the diocesan ecclesial events of those years: the Synod of the Church of Rome (1987-1992), the City Mission that preceded the Jubilee of 2000. He was appointed chaplain to His Holiness on 13 October 1995.
He left San Frumenzio on 1 July 2004 and became parish priest of Sant’Ippolito in Piazzale delle Province, until 1 September 2009, when the cardinal vicar appointed him as director of diocesan Caritas. As director of Caritas he was also appointed president of the "Caritas Roma" Foundation and the anti-usury Foundation Salus Popoli Romani. He then chaired the "Cooperativa Roma Solidarietà", the body managing the services promoted by Caritas Rome. He also served as consultor of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.
On 10 November 2017 the Cardinal Vicar appointed him president of the Public Clerical Association of Oblates Sons of Our Lady of Divine Love, entrusting him with the role of rector of the Shrine of Divine Love and rector of the Seminary of Our Lady of Divine Love (1 September 2018). He was appointed canon and camerlengo of the Papal Basilica Santissimo Salvatore e Santi Giovanni Battista ed Evangelista in Laterano and canon.
On 1 September 2019 he was appointed parish priest of the parish of Our Lady of Divine Love in Castel di Leva.