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Cardinal-designate from Mali recovering from illness, will attend consistory

June 27, 2017

Cardinal-designate Jean Zerbo of Bamako, Mali, will attend the June 28 consistory at which he will receive a red hat from Pope Francis, having recovered from a stomach ailment that threatened to make the trip impossible for him.

Archbishop Zerbo is one of five prelates named by Pope Francis in May to be elevated to the College of Cardinals. He will be the first cardinal in Mali’s history.

If Archbishop Zerbo had been unable to attend the consistory, he would have received his red hat in a separate, private ceremony. That situation arose most recently in February 2014, when the late Cardinal Loris Capovilla, who was then 98 years old, did not attend the consistory but received his red hat from Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the dean of the College of Cardinals, later that year.

Since he was named to become a cardinal, Archbishop Zerbo has been caught up in a financial controversy in Mali; local clergy have charged that he moved large sums of Church money into Swiss bank accounts. The bishops’ conference of Mali has denied the charges.


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