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Pope announces 21 new cardinals, including San Diego’s Bishop McElroy

May 30, 2022

Pope Francis announced on May 29 that he will create 21 new cardinals in an August 27 consistory.

There are currently 208 members of the College of Cardinals, 117 of whom are eligible to vote in a papal election. Following the consistory, there will be 229 cardinals, 131 of whom will be eligible to vote in a papal election.

In announcing the new cardinals’ names, the Pontiff has not only elevated prelates who lead prominent dicasteries in the Roman Curia, but also has continued his practice of elevating bishops from small nations (East Timor) and nations with tiny Catholic populations (Mongolia).

[See Phil Lawler’s analysis of the Pope’s choices for the College of Cardinals.]

The Pontiff also continued his practice of passing over some bishops of extremely large metropolitan archdioceses historically led by cardinals (Milan and Los Angeles) in favor of bishops of smaller suffragan dioceses (Como and San Diego).

The 16 new cardinals who will be eligible to vote in a papal election are

  • Archbishop Arthur Roche, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
  • Archbishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy
  • Archbishop Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, LC, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and president of the Governorate of Vatican City State
  • Archbishop Jean-Marc Aveline of Marseille, France
  • Bishop Peter Okpaleke of Ekwulobia, Nigeria, whose appointment by Pope Benedict sparked a rebellion that led to the prelate’s resignation and Pope Francis’s creation of a new diocese
  • Archbishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, OFM, of Manaus, Brazil, a city in the Amazon River basin that was for a time devastated by Covid
  • Archbishop Filipe Neri António Sebastião do Rosário Ferrão of Goa and Damão, India
  • Bishop Robert Walter McElroy of San Diego
  • Archbishop Virgilio Do Carmo Da Silva, SDB, of Dili, East Timor
  • Bishop Oscar Cantoni of Como, Italy
  • Archbishop Anthony Poola of Hyderabad, India, who will become the first Dalit cardinal (Dalits were once more commonly known as “untouchables”)
  • Archbishop Paulo Cezar Costa of Brasília, Brazil
  • Bishop Richard Kuuia Baawobr, M.Afr, of Wa, Ghana
  • Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye of Singapore
  • Archbishop Adalberto Martínez Flores of Asunción, Paraguay
  • Bishop Giorgio Marengo, IMC, prefect apostolic of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

The five new cardinals who will be over 80, and thus ineligible to vote in a papal election, are

  • Archbishop Jorge Enrique Jiménez Carvajal, Archbishop Emeritus of Cartagena (Colombia)
  • Bishop Lucas Van Looy, SDB, Bishop Emeritus of Ghent (Belgium)
  • Archbishop Arrigo Miglio, Archbishop Emeritus of Cagliari (Italy)
  • Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda, SJ, a theologian, canon lawyer, and former rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University
  • Msgr. Fortunato Frezza, canon of Saint Peter’s Basilica

“By naming Bishop Robert McElroy as a cardinal, Pope Francis has shown his pastoral care for the Church in the United States,” Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a statement. “I have known and have had the privilege of working with Cardinal-designate McElroy for many years ... His strong faith and the pastoral concern for the faithful he has shown in his diocese will serve the global Church well.”


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - May. 30, 2022 12:02 PM ET USA

    I predict more anger, hatred, and persecution of the marginalized and excluded Catholics among us.