Penang bishop among 21 new cardinals named by Pope Francis.
ROME — Twenty-one new cardinals are to be created at a consistory to be held in the Vatican at the end of September, Pope Francis announced following the Angelus on Sunday.
Of the 21, 18 would be eligible to take part in a papal conclave to elect a new pope, as they are under the age of 80 – the cut-off age.
Making the announcement, Francis said: “Where they come from expresses the universality of the Church, which continues to proclaim the merciful love of God to all people of the earth.”
The new cardinals include Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez from Argentina, Archbishop Robert Francis Prevost, originally from the United States and Italian Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti.
Also on the list are Bishop Stephen Chriw Sau-yan of Hong Kong, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town and the Titular Bishop of Penang, Right Reverend Datuk Sri Sebastian Francis.
Second Malaysian Cardinal
Cardinal-elect Francis, 72, who is also Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei president, is the second bishop from Penang to be appointed a cardinal.
As reported by New Straits Times, Francis was quoted as saying “The Mission continues. I am happy to follow in the footsteps of Cardinals Soter Fernandez from Malaysia, Cornelius Sim of Brunei and William Goh of Singapore for the unity and continuity of the mission.”
” I send my blessings to all the Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and beyond.” he added.
In a Facebook post, Church of the Immaculate Conception, Penang congratulated Francis on his appointment as Cardinal.
“Congratulations to His Lordship Right Reverend Sebastian Francis, Bishop of Penang, on the announcement by the Holy Father of your impending appointment as Cardinal.
“May this bring unity and continuity to the mission entrusted to you.” reads the statement.
Vatican News said that Pope Francis called for prayers for the future cardinals to help him in his service to the Church, and for the good of the faithful.
The list reflects the pope’s promotion of clerics from countries outside Europe. Francis himself is Argentina-born.
The consistory is to be held on September 30. — Mediahit