Is Pope Francis dissing our clergy? Cardinals appointed, none are from the USA
Pope Francis heeds the voice of the Holy Spirit and we trust in that.
Pope Francis named 19 new cardinals on Sunday, and the choices appear to reflect his emphasis on the world's poor. Half of them come from outside Europe and are instead from the developing world. None are from the United States.
The cardinals are from: Argentina, Brazil, Britain, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, Germany, Haiti, Italy, Ivory Coast, Nicaragua, Philippines, and South Korea.
Light a candle for Pope Francis and the new Cardinals, let us pray for them!
Of their number, 16 are electors, meaning they are under 80 and are eligible to participate in the voting to select a new Pope.
Already, the choices are being scrutinized and the general consensus appears to be that Pope Francis wishes to emphasize the developing world, and is working to engineer a "poor church for the poor."
What does this mean? Is Pope Francis shunning U.S. clergy?
No! That's not how he operates anyway. While the choices almost certainly do reveal a renewed emphasis on the developing world, they are also products of the Holy Spirit. Just as the Papal Conclave must listen to the Holy Spirit when electing a Pope, so too must the Pope listen to the Holy Spirit when appointing cardinals.
The appointments are important because it is from the ranks of the cardinals that the next pope will come.
The infusion of southern cardinals will bring added value to the College of Cardinals by increasing the variety of viewpoints and experiences within it. There will be cardinals who were born and grew amid poverty before living successful lives as members of the clergy. Their experiences will color their decision making and influence the future emphasis on the message of the Church.
Pope Francis is thus far a leadership success for the Church. A year ago, the Chrch faced harsh public criticism and ridicule for scandal. Millions of Catholics lapsed or quit the Church altogether. Pope Francis with his emphasis on the core message of 'Prayer and Action' has attracted millions of Catholics back to the pews.
By de-emphasizing some of the spiritual warfare that has dominated the western Catholic mindset and refocusing that message on spiritual construction, such as feeding the poor and caring for the sick, Pope Francis has revived the Church beyond what many thought possible.
This is a genuine work of the Holy Spirit in action and we are fortunate to witness it.
Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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