Friday, November 23, 2012
November 22, 2012. (Romereports.com) The Pope will soon create six new cardinals. For the time being, the number of papal electors will change to 120 members, though only for a few weeks. So who are the six cardinal-designates?
His Beatitude Béchara Boutros al-Rahï, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, from Lebanon, is the eldest of the new cardinals at 72 years old. He was elected Patriarch of the Maronites in the spring of 2011. During the Pope's recent visit to the Land of Cedars, he represented the country's largest Catholic community.
Ruben Salazar Gómez was appointed archbishop of Bogotá since July 2010, and President of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia since 2008. He is 70 years old and a bishop since 1992.
John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, has served as archbishop of Abuja since 1992. Born in Kabba, Nigeria, he is 68 years old and a bishop since 1982. He has chaired the Bishops' Conference of Nigeria, and the Association of the Member Episcopal Conferences of East Africa. He is described as one of the most charismatic bishops in Africa.
James Michael Harvey was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin 64 years ago. He's been Prefect of the Papal Household since 1998. Harvey's duties include setting the Pope's agenda and welcoming the heads of state. Following the consistory Benedict XVI will also appoint him the Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.
Luis Antonio Tagle is archbishop of Manila (Philippines) since October 2011. He was ordained a bishop by Pope John Paul II in 2001. He is only 55 years old, and is the second youngest cardinal, surpassed by one of the other cardinal designates:
Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, is 53 years old. He is the Major Archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankara in India since 2007.
These are the new faces in the College of Cardinals. Not many, but their diverse backgrounds enriches the select group of men who have the responsibility of electing the next Pope.