And back to the margins

And back to the margins

The ceremony to elevate 17 church dignitaries to cardinals began at the Vatican on Saturday. Who are the new senators?

In St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis will place a biretta, a red square hat, on them as a sign of their dignity and hand them a cardinal's ring. The new cardinals swear allegiance and obedience to the pope and the church before the entire College of Cardinals. It is the third consistory under Pope Francis. Here are the new senators of the pope in short portraits.

Carlos Aguiar Retes (66), Archbishop of Tlalnepantla/Mexico

Francis upgrades a little-known diocese with this appointment. Carlos Aguiar has been archbishop of Tlalnepantla in Mexico since 2009. Since 2007 he has been a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. In 2014 and 2015, he participated in the synods of bishops at the Vatican. As president of the Latin American Council of Bishops CELAM, he was involved in the final document of the Synod of Bishops in 2014.

Aguiar was elected on 9. Born in Tepic, Mexico, on January 1950. He studied in the U.S. and earned his doctorate in biblical theology in Rome. In 1973 he was ordained priest. At the Pontifical University in Mexico he was rector of a seminary residence and professor of biblical studies. In 1997, Pope John Paul II appointed him. as bishop of Texcoco; Benedict XVI. made him archbishop of Tlalnepantla in 2009.

Aguiar was president of the Mexican Episcopal Conference from 2006 to 2012 and CELAM president from 2011 to 2015. From 2003 to 2007 he already held the office of First Vice President there.

Renato Corti (80), Bishop Emeritus of Novara/Italy

Renato Corti, former bishop of Novara (1991-2011), is the second Italian among the new cardinals, apart from Mario Zenari, whom Francis chose expressly because of his position as papal ambassador to Syria. Because of his age, Corti is no longer eligible to be elected pope.

The cardinal elected on 1. Born in Galbiate, northern Italy, in March 1936, Corti gave the 2005 Lenten retreat for Pope John Paul II. and the Curia. In 2015, he wrote the Stations of the Cross meditation for Pope Francis. The Italian is considered a particularly gifted preacher. Corti was, among other things, vice-president of the Italian Bishops' Conference for ten years (1995-2005).

Blase Joseph Cupich (67), Archbishop of Chicago/USA

At Blase Cupich, Francis stuck to convention for once: Chicago archbishop is traditional contender for cardinalship. Cupich is considered Francis' man in the U.S. bishops' conference. The pope appointed him archbishop of Chicago in September 2014. In October 2015, he participated in the Synod of Bishops on Marriage and the Family as a member personally appointed by the Pope. In July, Francis additionally appointed him a member of the influential Vatican Congregation for Bishops, which is responsible for appointing new bishops.

Cupich is an outsider among U.S. bishops. He wants to give legal residency status to illegal immigrants, and after the attack on a gay club in Orlando, he caused a stir when he called for prayers for "our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters". After his appointment for Chicago, he moved from the bishop's house to an apartment.

After studying theology in Washington and Rome, Cupich served as pastor and rector of a seminary, among other positions. In 1998, he was appointed bishop of Rapid City in the state of South Dakota. 2010, he moved to Spokane, Washington state.

Kevin Joseph Farrell (69), Irish director of the Vatican's Office for Laity, Family and Life

Bishop Kevin Joseph Farrell, appointed by Pope Francis in August to head the new Vatican Major Authority for Laity, Family and Life, combines a conservative stance with cosmopolitanism. On 2. Born in Dublin on Sept. 1947, he attended the School Brothers' high school in Drimnagh and joined the Legionaries of Christ in 1966, but left the community in 1984. Farrell studied philosophy and theology in Rome and was ordained there in 1978. He subsequently served as chaplain at the University of Monterrey (Mexico), where he also taught bioethics and social ethics.

In the 1980s, he assisted the Archdiocese of Washington in caring for Spanish-speaking priests. In 1984, he was accepted into the Washington universal clergy. In 1985, he became director of the Spanish Catholic Center in the U.S. capital, an institution dedicated to serving new immigrants. From 1987 to 1988, Farrell was Caritas director, then financial secretary of the Archdiocese of Washington and vicar general in 1995.

Pope John Paul II. Appointed Farrell as auxiliary bishop in Washington. In 2007, Benedict XVI made him. to the bishop of Dallas. Farrell speaks English, Italian and Spanish. His brother Brian (72) is curia bishop and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Unity.

Anthony Soter Fernandez (84), archbishop emeritus of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Anthony Soter Fernandez, former archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, becomes first cardinal from Malaysia. Because of his age, however, he would not be eligible to vote in a papal election. About 60 percent of Malaysia's 31 million people are Muslim; 40 percent belong to minority religions. Islam is the state religion in the Southeast Asian country.

Media report Fernandez as a dedicated fighter for interfaith dialogue in the country. The man with Indian roots was ordained on 22. Born in Sungai Petani, Malaysia, on April 1932. In 1966 he was ordained to the priesthood. Eleven years later, he was named bishop of Penang, and in 1983, archbishop of Kuala Lumpur (until 2003).

Since then, he has taken care of priestly formation as spiritual director of Penang Seminary. From 1987 to 1990 and from 2000 to 2003, Fernandez was president of the Bishops' Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

Jozef De Kesel (69), archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium

Jozef De Kesel, archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels and primate of Belgium since December 2015, will henceforth be the only cardinal from Belgium eligible to be elected pope. De Kesel is also president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. The polyglot Fleming stands for a mediating course in church politics and appears intellectual, prudent and moderate. He is associated with hopes for a turnaround in the Belgian church, which is experiencing a deep crisis of credibility – partly due to sexual abuse scandals.

De Kesel was born on 17. June 1947 born in Ghent, the fifth of nine children. After studying there, as well as in Leuven and Rome, and being ordained a priest in 1972, he taught fundamental theology and philosophical anthropology in Ghent and Leuven. In 2002, he became auxiliary bishop in the capital archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels. His bishop's motto comes from St. Augustine: "With you I am a Christian"; in his own words, it is meant to symbolize closeness with the faithful.

In 2010 Benedict XVI appointed. De Kesel appointed bishop of Bruges. His predecessor there had had to resign under public prere because he sexually abused his nephew for years. De Kesel stressed it would take at least a generation for the wounds of the pedophilia scandal to heal. He also advocates mutual respect and a tolerant Belgian society with Christians, Muslims and non-believers.

Sebastian Koto Khoarai (87), Bishop Emeritus of Mohale's Hoek/ Lesotho

Oblate missionary Sebastian Koto Khoarai, 87, also gives the Kingdom of Lesotho its first cardinal. Khoarai was the first bishop of the Diocese of Mohale's Hoek, established in 1977 (1977-2014), and president of the national bishops' conference from 1982 to 1987. Because of his age, Khoarai would no longer be eligible to vote at a conclave.

Khoarai was born on 11. Born September 1929 in Koaling. After joining the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, he received priestly ordination in 1956. 1977 by Pope Paul VI. (1963-1978) was appointed the first bishop of the newly established diocese of Mohale's Hoek. After requesting his resignation for reasons of age in 2006, he continued to lead the diocese as Apostolic Administrator until 2014.

Lesotho, an enclave in the Republic of South Africa, has about two million inhabitants. According to the World Bank, almost 60 percent of them live in poverty. Many of them seek better-paid jobs in South Africa as farm workers, cleaners or miners.

Dieudonne Nzapalainga (49), Archbishop of Bangui

Dieudonne Nzapalainga (49) is the first Central African to receive the cardinalate. The bishop elected on 14. March 1967 in Mbomou, Nzapalainga becomes the youngest member of the College of Cardinals at present. He has been a member of the Spiritan order since 1993; in 2012 he became archbishop of Bangui. He has been president of the national bishops' conference since 2013.

With the president of the Central African Islamic Council and the head of the Evangelical Alliance, Nzapalainga founded the "Interfaith Peace Platform" against the civil war in their country. In 2015, Nzapalainga received the Aachen Peace Prize for his efforts. In 2014, the three religious representatives in Germany called for more commitment to peace in their country.

Nzapalainga was ordained a priest in 1998. Until 2005, he was a chaplain and vicar in France. In Bangui, he was regional superior of the Spiritans and parish priest for four years. In 2009, he became apostolic administrator of Bangui; in 2012, he received episcopal ordination. During his November 2015 visit, Pope Francis opened the cathedral's Holy Door in advance in Bangui and exchanged greetings of peace with the imam of the largest mosque and a representative of the evangelical church.

Carlos Osoro Sierra (71), Archbishop of Madrid/Spain

A surprise candidate was Carlos Osoro Sierra (71) when he was appointed archbishop of Madrid in 2014. He is described as an open, communicative pastor. In the sometimes loud and tough debates between the church leadership and the Spanish governments on ies such as abortion, euthanasia and family law, he has been one of the less audible voices. However, he apparently enjoys great support among the Spanish bishops; they elected him as their vice-president.

The Spanish capital is traditionally associated with the rank of cardinal. However, Francis recently took little notice of such rules. Osoro was born on 16. Born May 1945 in Castaneda, in the province of Santander. After completing a degree in education and mathematics in Madrid, he entered the late seminary in Salamanca and studied theology and philosophy at the Pontifical University of Salamanca. He was ordained priest in 1973.

1996 John Paul II appointed him. as bishop of Orense. From 2002 to 2009, Osoro led the archdiocese of Oviedo. Benedict XVI. made him archbishop of Valencia. In August 2014, Francis appointed him to the capital, Madrid.

Maurice Piat (75), Bishop of Port-Louis/Mauritius

Francis has a big heart for small island nations: After bishops from Tonga, Haiti, St. In addition to Maurice Piat from St. Lucia and the Cape Verde Islands, Maurice Piat from Mauritius is already the fifth representative of this group of countries to be made a cardinal. With the head of the capital city bishopric of Port-Louis, all the oceans of the world are now represented in the college: Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The pope, who for the first time called for a fight against climate change in an encyclical, apparently wants to express the solidarity of the universal church to the victims of this development.

Piat has seen the world. He joined the Spiritan order in Ireland in 1962 and studied business administration; in Rome he studied theology; in Bangalore, India, he gained practical experience in pastoral care; in Paris he attended a course for priest educators. Afterwards he worked as a pastor and as a commissioner for ecclesial base communities in his home country.

Since 1991, Piat has led the diocese of Port-Louis, first as coadjutor to Cardinal Jean Margeot, and since 1993 as his successor. Piat is a member of the Permanent Council of the Assembly of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar.

Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo (72), Archbishop of Merida/Venezuela

Baltazar Porras has been archbishop of Merida, Venezuela, since 1991. His cardinal elevation further boosts church in crisis-stricken country. Porras sees his appointment as a sign of the pope's concern for the South American country. Since 1997, Porras has also been a member of the Synod of Bishops' Special Council for the Americas.

Porras was ordained on 10. Born October 1944 in the capital Caracas; ordained priest in 1967. A doctor of pastoral theology, he has served as both pastor and professor. From 1979 to 1983 he was rector of the seminary in Caracas. He headed the Venezuelan Bishops' Conference from 1999 to 2006. In the following year, he amed the office of First Vice President of the Latin American Bishops' Council CELAM, which he held until 2011.

John Ribat (59), archbishop of Port Moresby/Papua New Guinea

If Francis joked after his papal election that the cardinals brought him from the other side of the world, John Ribat can say the same: He is the first Papua New Guinea cardinal to move into the pope's Senate.

Born on 9. February 1957 in Volavolo on the coast of the Bismarck Sea, he joined the Sacred Heart Missionaries after school and worked as a parish chaplain, then also novice master of his order. At 43, he received an appointment as auxiliary bishop in Bereina, a diocese the size of Rhineland-Palatinate, but with only 86.000 Catholics. In 2007 Benedict XVI made him. as archbishop-coadjutor in the capital Port Moresby; a year later he officially took over the archdiocese.

The Pacific state is far from being a South Seas paradise: Despite economic growth, Papua New Guinea is still one of the poorer developing countries. Malaria and AIDS are common. Australia has been interning migrants and refugees there for years. Social tensions flared in June in student protests in Port Moresby that escalated. Ribat is a churchman on the margins of society in the sense of Francis.

Sergio da Rocha (57), Archbishop of Brasilia

Sergio da Rocha is a global church heavyweight: as president of the Brazilian Bishops' Conference, he represents the largest Catholic country in the world in terms of numbers of believers. Competition from Pentecostal congregations, however, is taking its toll on the church; the percentage of Catholics has dropped from 90 percent to about 65 percent.

One of the most important tasks of da Rochas, who took over the presidency of the bishops' conference in 2015 from Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis (79), is therefore to stop the exodus of Catholics.

On 21. Born Oct. 1959 in Dobrada, Sao Paulo state, da Rocha studied theology in Brazil and in Rome, with a focus on moral theology. In 2011, Benedict XVI made him. to archbishop of the capital diocese of Brasilia; he previously presided over the archdiocese of Teresina in the poor northeast of the country. In the Latin American Episcopal Council CELAM, da Rocha for a time headed the Commission for Spiritual Vocations.

Patrick D'Rozario (73), archbishop of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Holy Cross priest Patrick D'Rozario has been archbishop of Dhaka and president of the Bangladesh Bishops' Conference since 2011. He also becomes his country's first cleric to wear a cardinal's hat. His appointment was as surprising to many as Pope Francis' announcement to visit Bangladesh in 2017. D'Rozario sees his appointment as recognition of his work in interfaith dialogue and encouragement to the faithful.

The Southeast Asian country with 160 million inhabitants has been independent from Pakistan since 1971. 89 percent are Muslims. The approximately 350.000 Catholics in eight dioceses make up the largest Christian minority. Islamist attacks have been on the rise in Bangladesh since 2013.

D'Rozario was ordained a cardinal on 1. Born Oct. 1943 in Padrishibpur in southern Bangladesh, which was then part of British India. In 1972, he was ordained priest; in 1990, John Paul II. appointed the first bishop of the newly established Rajshahi diocese. Five years later, he became bishop of Chittagong, the country's second most important diocese. In 2010, Benedict XVI made. appointed the religious coadjutor of the Archdiocese of Dhaka.

Ernest Simoni (88), priest from Albania

Each cardinal promises the pope he will give his blood for his church if the worst comes to the worst. Ernest Simoni from Albania almost became a martyr at a young age. The priest was arrested by the communist regime on Christmas Eve 1963. Albania boasted at the time that it was the "first atheist state in the world". Simoni was sentenced to death; the sentence was later commuted to 25 years of hard labor. Priest released after 18 years in prison.

Until the fall of the communist regime, Simoni could only work underground as a priest. He settled many family feuds that often end in bloodshed in Albania. Francis took notice of him during his 2014 visit to Albania. Simoni is the only simple priest among the 17 new cardinals.

Joseph William Tobin (64), Archbishop of Newark/USA

In 2015, Joseph Tobin made headlines when he announced he would continue to accept Syrian refugees in his Indianapolis archdiocese – even against the course of the local governor: Mike Pence, now vice president-elect of the U.S.

Tobin, born on 3. May 1952 as one of 13 siblings, hails from the auto city of Detroit. He has experience in diocesan and religious leadership, knows the Vatican and pastoral realities. At 39, Redemptorists elected him to leadership, six years later as their superior general. In 2003, he also became vice chairman of the International Union of Superiors General.

For many years he acted as an intermediary between the religious orders and the Vatican. In 2010, Benedict XVI brought in. him to the second-highest post in the Congregation for Religious in Rome. 2012 followed the appointment as archbishop of Indianapolis. Just two weeks before his cardinal appointment, Francis made him head of the Archdiocese of Newark. The 1.5 million Catholics there are 40 percent white, just over a quarter Hispanic and just under a fifth black. Tobin, it is said, is "delighted" that services are celebrated in a dozen languages. He himself speaks Portuguese, Italian and French in addition to English and Spanish.

Mario Zenari (70), nuncio to Syria

Announcing the new cardinals in October, Pope Francis pointed out that Archbishop Mario Zenari (70), ambassador of the Holy See, would remain at his post "in beloved and martyred Syria". For Zenari himself, this is a "clear sign of solidarity with the suffering Syrian population".

Zenari was banned on the 5. January 1946 born in Villafranca in northern Italy. A priest since 1970, Zenari entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1980. He worked at papal missions in Germany, Romania, Colombia, Senegal and Liberia. Zenari spent several years in Vienna as the Vatican's permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency and to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

He was also Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN Industrial Development Organization. In 1999, John Paul II appointed. Zenari appointed nuncio for Côte d'Ivoire and Niger and for Burkina Faso. In 2004 he moved to Sri Lanka. Four years later, Benedict XVI made him. on the ambassador to Syria.

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