Red Alert, Red Alert
Here, the biglietto, in order:
- Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints;
- Antonio Naguib, patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts,
- Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum,
- Francesco Monterisi, archpriest of St Paul's Outside the Walls,
- Fortunato Baldelli, major penitentiary of the Roman church,
- Raymond Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura,
- Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
- Paolo Sardi, pro-Patron of the Order of Malta,
- Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy
- Velasio DePaolis CS, prefect for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See (& papal delegate to the Legionaries of Christ)
- Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture
- Medardo Joseph Mazombwe, archbishop-emeritus of Lusaka (Zambia)
- Raul Eduardo Vela Chiliboga, archbishop-emeritus of Quito (Ecuador)
- Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa
- Paolo Romeo, archbishop of Palermo
- Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington
- Raymundo Damasceno Assis, archbishop of Aparecida
- Kazmierz Nycz, archbishop of Warsaw
- Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo
- Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising
- Archbishop Jose Manuel Estepa Llaurens, Military Ordinary-emeritus of Spain
- Bishop Elio Sgreccia, president-emeritus of the Pontifical Academy for Life
- Msgr Walter Brandmuller, president-emeritus of the Pontifical Commission for Historical Sciences
- Msgr Domenico Bartolucci, director-emeritus of the Sistine Choir
That said, the twin retired prelates -- among other aspects -- make this list stranger than almost any other in memory; Cardinal-designate Vela, 76, was just replaced in the Ecuadorean capital last month, while Cardinal-designate Mazombwe, who retired in 2006, loses his conclave vote on turning 80 next fall.
From Cardinal-designate Donald Wuerl of Washington, the following statement has quickly emerged...
“This truly is an honor for the Archdiocese of Washington, the Church in the nation’s capital, and for all of the clergy, religious and parishioners of this local Church who every day live out their faith in commitment and deep love for Christ. I am humbled by our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI’s trust in me as shepherd of this flock and pledge to him my renewed fidelity, affection and loyalty.”Once the secretary to a cardinal -- and, arguably, the most impeccably-prepared American cleric in history for the red hat -- the DC designate, 70 next month, will celebrate an 8am Mass this morning in St Matthew's Cathedral, with a press availability to follow.
Tonight, he'll be in Houston to give an address on faith and the just society at the University of St Thomas, for which a webstream will be had. Uniquely, late yesterday saw Wuerl announce a new seminary for the capital church -- a pre-theologate on the campus of the Catholic University of America, to open in August 2011.
And via "Big Rig" -- that is, the new St Louis chancery -- the following statement has just come from the Vatican's "chief justice," the Gateway City's eighth archbishop from 2004-08, Cardinal-designate Raymond Leo Burke:
I am deeply humbled and honored by the announcement that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI intends to name me to the College of Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church at the Consistory which he has convoked for this coming November 20th. Having received the news of the Holy Father’s intention, I express my deepest gratitude to His Holiness for the great confidence which he has placed in me, and I renew my commitment to serve Him, as Shepherd of the universal Church, in total fidelity and with all my being.All that said, one conspicuous absence from the slate is enough to make for a major heartbreak.
Considering the weighty responsibilities of the members of the College of Cardinals in assisting the Holy Father as his closest co-workers, even “to the shedding of blood,” I am more than ever conscious of my own weakness and of my total dependence upon the help of divine grace, in order that I may fulfill worthily and generously the responsibilities which will be mine, God willing, as a Cardinal of the Church.
I count upon the continued intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Communion of Saints, and the prayers of the many faithful whom I have been blessed to serve as priest and Bishop, especially in my home diocese, the Diocese of La Crosse, and in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, and of those with whom I have been, in the past, and am now privileged to serve in the Roman Curia, especially my co-workers at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. Only the knowledge of God’s immeasurable and unceasing outpouring of mercy and love from the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus gives me the confidence to accept the great honor and burden which His Holiness intends to confer upon me.
Today’s announcement turns my thoughts with deepest affection and gratitude to my late parents and all my family, living and deceased; and to the priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful who have assisted me to know my vocation to the Holy Priesthood and to respond to it with an undivided heart over the more than thirty-five years of my priestly life and ministry. Today, with all my heart, I humbly thank God for the gifts of life, of the Catholic faith, and of my vocation.
At the same time, my thoughts naturally turn to the many challenges which the Church faces in our day in carrying out her divine mission for the salvation of the world. In particular, I am deeply conscious of the critical importance of the loving witness of the Church to the truth, revealed to us by God through both faith and reason, which alone is our salvation. It is a witness which Our Holy Father tirelessly gives with remarkable wisdom and courage. I pledge myself anew to assist Pope Benedict XVI in this critical witness and in the many works of his pastoral charity on behalf of all our brothers and sisters in the Church and in the world.
I ask for prayers that I may be able to assist our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI to the best of my ability and with every ounce of my strength. I, once again, place my whole heart, together with the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, into the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus, I am confident that I will find the purification, courage and strength which I will need to carry out the new responsibilities to be confided into my hands. I thank, in advance, all who will pray for me, and ask God to bless them abundantly.