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Saint Peter's Square
Sunday, 9 October 2016


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I was greatly saddened to hear the news of the grave consequences of the hurricane that in recent days struck the Caribbean, and Haiti in particular, leaving behind many victims and homeless, in addition to considerable material damage. I assure my closeness to the population and express my confidence in the sense of solidarity of the international community, the Catholic institutions and people of good will. I ask you to join me in praying for these brothers and sisters, who are put to such a difficult test.

Yesterday in Oviedo, Spain, the priest Gennaro Fueyo Castañón and three lay believers were beatified. We praise the Lord for these heroic witnesses of the faith, joined to the multitude of martyrs who have given their lives in the name of Christ.

I send my most cordial greetings to all of you, dear pilgrims, who have participated in the Marian Jubilee. Thank you for your presence! I would like to repeat with you the words of St John Paul II pronounced on 8 October 2000, in the Act of Entrustment to Mary for the Jubilee: “Mother, we wish to entrust to you the future that awaits us. Humanity can turn this world into a garden, or reduce it to a pile of rubble”. At this crossroads, may the Virgin help us choose life, welcoming and practicing the Gospel of Christ the Saviour.

Announcement of Consistory for the creation of new Cardinals

Brothers and Sisters,

It is my pleasure to announce that on Saturday, 19 November, at the vigil for the closing of the Holy Door of Mercy, a Consistory will be held to appoint 13 new Cardinals from five continents. That they come from 11 Nations expresses the universality of the Church which proclaims and witnesses to the Good News of God’s Mercy in every corner of the earth. The addition of the new Cardinals in the diocese of Rome, moreover, manifests the inseparable connection between the See of Peter and the local Churches spread throughout the world.

On Sunday, 20 November, the Solemnity of Christ the King, at the conclusion of the Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy, I will concelebrate a Mass with the new Cardinals, the College of Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, and Priests.

These are the names of the new Cardinals:

— Archbishop Mario Zenari, who remains the Apostolic Nuncio of the beloved and martyred Syria (Italy)

— Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga, CSSp., of Bangui (Central African Republic)

— Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid (Spain)

— Archbishop Sérgio da Rocha of Brasilia (Brazil)

— Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago (USA)

— Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario, CSC, of Dhaka (Bangladesh)

— Archbishop Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo of Mérida (Venezuela)

— Archbishop Jozef De Kesel of Malines-Bruxelles (Belgium)

— Bishop Maurice Piat of Port Louis (Mauritius)

— Archbishop Kevin Joseph Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life (USA)

— Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes, Archbishop of Tlalnepantla (Mexico)

— Archbishop John Ribat, msc, Archbishop of Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea)

— Archbishop Joseph William Tobin, CSSR, Archbishop of Indianapolis (USA).

The members of the College of Cardinals will also be joined by two archbishops and an emeritus bishop who have distinguished themselves with their pastoral service, and a priest who has offered a clear Christian witness. These represent the many bishops and priests who, throughout the Church, build up the People of God, announcing the merciful love of God in their daily care for the Lord’s flock, and in their confession of the faith.

They are:

— Archbishop Anthony Soter Fernandez, Archbishop emeritus of Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

— Archbishop Renato Corti, Archbishop emeritus of Novara (Italy)

— Bishop Sebastian Koto Khoarai, OMI, Bishop emeritus of Mohale’s Hoek (Lesotho)

— Fr Ernest Simoni, Presbyter of the Archdiocese of Shkodrë-Pult (Shkodër – Albania).

We pray for the new Cardinals in order that, by confirming their acceptance of Christ, the merciful and faithful High Priest (cf. Heb 2:17), they may assist me in my ministry as Bishop of Rome and as “a permanent and visible source and foundation of unity of faith and communion” (cf. Lumen Gentium, 18).

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