At the conclusion of his weekly Papal Angelus, on Sunday, Oct. 9, Pope Francis, announced the creation of several new Cardinals from around the world. Among those to be created will be three U.S. Bishops.
Cardinal-elect Blase Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Ill., is a leading figure in the American Church and there should be no surprise at his elevation.
Cardinal-elect Cupich is the shepherd of one of the largest and most complicated archdioceses in the U.S. and has recently been appointed to the Vatican’s Congregation of Bishops, which helps the Holy Father in his discernment as to who should serve as bishops around the world.
Bishop Kevin Farrell, formerly of the Diocese of Dallas, Texas, recently named the head of the new Vatican dicastery of Family, Life, and Laity should also come as no surprise. Cardinal-elect Farrell is not only the head of a major Vatican office, but has demonstrated true leadership in Texas over the past several years.
Think back to July and the tragic massacre of police in Dallas, Cardinal-elect Farrell was there with his people, leading them in prayer and comforting them as a father would.
Cardinal-elect Joseph Tobin, the Archbishop of Indianapolis, Ind., however, is a bit of a surprise. Certainly not due to his impressive resume: Archbishop Tobin was the head of all the Redemptorist Fathers and Brothers and has served as the undersecretary of the Congregation for Religious at the Vatican. As the Archbishop of Indianapolis, he has been a tireless voice for immigrants and refugee. It is surprising because the Archdiocese of Indianapolis has never had a Cardinal before, but, as we well know, our Holy Father, likes to think outside of the box!
In a remarkably humble tweet, Cardinal-elect Tobin wrote: “I am shocked beyond words by the decision of the Holy Father. Please pray for me.”
In making these choices, Pope Francis has continued his desire to expand the membership in the College of Cardinals to remote locations around the world and away from the Euro-centric composition of years ago. These choices have placed cardinals in places where one has never been appointed.
We welcome the more complete worldview that is present in that body and feel fully confident that Church’s prelates will better represent the people of the entire world who makes up the Body of Christ.