BY Ian Dunn | February 20 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Pope Francis calls on new cardinals to serve with love

On Valentine’s Day Pope Francis created 20 new cardinals and told them their first responsibility was to serve the Church with love.

“The greater our responsibility in serving the Church, the more our hearts must expand according to the measure of the heart of Christ,” he told 19 of the new cardinals during the consistory.

The 20th new cardinal, 95-year-old Colombian Cardinal Jose Pimiento Rodriguez, retired bishop of Manizales, was unable to attend the ceremony and was to receive his red biretta and cardinal’s ring in his homeland.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI attended the ceremony, sitting in the front row of St Peter’s Basilica alongside the already existing members of the College of Cardinals.

Pope Francis’ meditation at the ceremony focused on the famous passage about love from St Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians (13:4-7), which begins: “Love is patient, love is kind.”

‘All of us, myself first,’ should be guided by St Paul’s words, he said, because every Christian ministry ‘flows from charity, must be exercised in charity and is ordered toward charity.’

The patience Christian love calls for, he said, is a call to Catholicity. “It means being able to love without limits, but also to be faithful in particular situations and with practical gestures. It means loving what is great without neglecting what is small.”

The new cardinals and all Christians, he said, can find a synopsis of their calling in St Paul’s affirmation that love ‘bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.’

Christians, the Pope said, should be ‘persons always ready to forgive; always ready to trust, because we are full of faith in God; always ready to inspire hope, because we ourselves are full of hope in God; persons ready to bear patiently every situation and each of our brothers and sisters, in union with Christ, who bore with love the burden of our sins.’

The 20 new cardinals come from 18 nations, including three—Cape Verde, Myanmar and Tonga—that had never had a cardinal before.






—Read the full version of this story in the February 20 edition of the SCO in parishes from Friday.






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