2 New Cardinals to come from Eastern Churches


Vatican City, 24 October 2012 (VIS) - At the end of his general audience today, the Pope announced that he has called a consistory to take place on 24 November, during which he will appoint six new cardinals.
“It is with great joy”, he said, “that I announce my intention to hold a consistory on 24 November, in which I will appoint six new members of the College of Cardinals. Cardinals have the task of helping Peter’s Successor carry out his mission to confirm people in the faith and to be the source and foundation of the Church’s unity and communion”.
The Holy Father then read out the names of the new cardinals. They are:

  • Archbishop James Michael Harvey, prefect of the Pontifical Household who, Benedict XVI said, “I intend to appoint as archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Paul’s Outside-the-Walls”.
    **- His Beatitude Bechara Boutros Rai, patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, Lebanon.
  • His Beatitude Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, major archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankars, India**.
  • Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria.
  • Archbishop Ruben Salazar Gomez of Bogota, Colombia.
  • Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle of Manila, Philippines.

Keep on praying for them.

How unfortunate. Continuing to symbolically coerce submission out of patriarchs of other sui juris Churches shows Rome is still unserious about reunion with the other separated Churches. :frowning:

Actually, it seems the Eastern bishops asked for this in the MidEast Synod last year - they want the right to elect the Pope, since the Pope gets to confirm some of the bishops of the diaspora, and even the heads of non-Patriarchal churches - quid pro quo.

In the case of the Eastern heads of Churches, this recognition by the Holy Father would not be an “elevation”, more an lateral honor. One cannot be more “elevated” than the Head of an Apostolic Church, except for being voted Pope (who in Catholic praxis is ‘primus inter pares’ of all Apostolic Churches).

Interesting, I would want this also.

No! The ECs want the heads of every EC Church to have the inherent right to elect a Pope and in preference over Cardinals, without being Cardinals themselves. Denho is right, this is unfortunate. EC bishops should never become Cardinals. A Cardinal is a function of the RC Church, not an Eastern one. Patriarchs, Major Archbishops, Primates, etc. of Eastern Churches should automatically be part of the conclave without being a Cardinal.

It doesn’t really surprise me that they asked for it, for a number of reasons. :rolleyes:

Rather than allowing Rome to continue to infringe on their rights over the faithful of their churches around the world, they could demand that Rome behave itself and allow the Synod to appoint bishops and to administer its global affairs unhindered.

It’s a game of politics. Just as politicians like medals and promotions and committee chairmanships, so do bishops. Congressmen will vote and submit to demands contrary to their better interests in the fleeting hope that their “influence” will change things in Washington. They just become part of the political machine and nothing ever changes. The Curia has a couple millennia head start on DC and so it is exponentially more pronounced.

The thought of a Patriarch saying;

I [name and surname], Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, promise and swear to be faithful henceforth and forever, while I live, to Christ and his Gospel, being constantly obedient to the Holy Roman Apostolic Church. . .
So help me Almighty God.

Is just a nightmare. It doesn’t matter, High Petrine or Low Petrine, this is ecclesiologically problematic.

I would want that also. I think this is a question everyone who contemplates unity of the Church comes to.


For many churches in countries near-east with predominantly Islamists their adherence to Catholic Church or to Orthodoxy was based on hope of protection by French or protection by Russian Impere. Often such an arrangement was like a convenient marriage without love. Most of all these churches wanted protection and some financial help against powerful Islamic forces, But to get this must also obey more powerful, more rich husband/church. Is difficult but easier for Patriarch Ierusalem or Aleksandria to send some bishop to Moskow for some large celebration, than for Maronite patriarch to make such swearing obedient to Roman Church. Protection and support - often at high price.

There is a problem with your link.

Yep, it’s a nightmare alright and one that is actually of rather recent vintage. Until the 1960s, the joke (more of an insult, really, but one that the recipients seem not to notice since they clamor for the “honor” … go figure) of offering a “red hat” to a Patriarch was unknown. Since then, however, it’s become more-or-less de rigeur, and that despite all the platitudes from Rome about “equal dignity” and such. If there was true equality, the plan to allow all Patriarchs to sit in conclave ex officio (which I have mentioned in the past and which was incipient in the waning years of Paul VI, and hence the fact that the “red hat” was withheld until his 2nd successor restored the practice) would have come to fruition.But of course it did not.

I fail to understand why the primates of Eastern and Oriental Catholic churches should be involved in the election of the Bishop of Rome. Shouldn’t the Latin Church elect its head?

Should Eastern and Oriental Catholic bishops be made cardinals? I don’t know. It is a Latin honorary title. Perhaps they should politely decline red hats. It’s for Eastern and Oriental Catholics to decide if they feel this is appropriate for their hierarchs.

I want to say about this that in the begining the Bishop of Rome was elected by the Roman people and clergy, and currently the Pope is elected by the Roman clergy. Yes, it’s stranger but each cardinal takes on a titular church, either a church in the city of Rome or one of the suburbicarian sees. They are the principal clergy of Rome, although they aren’t Roman and his title are honorary, and they keep the ancient tradition about the election of a new Pope.

If we think about this carefully, we can see why Eastern patriarchs and bishops should be cardinals to be able to elect a new Pope. The cardinals are “Roman” clergy, Eastern patriarchs and bishops aren’t, although they are the heads of the Eastern Catholic Churchs.

I agree, but until we resolve this question about the Pope’s universal authority, we should have a right to have a representative in the election of our “leader”.

The Melkite Patriarchs I believe have declined the red hats. I don’t know if +Lubomyr has declined it, but I have never seen him wear it.

Basic ecclesiology will teach us the significance of heads of Eastern Churches having the inherent right to elect the Pope. If the Pope will not give up his universal jurisdiction (he can’t, its dogma), then it is only right that the selection is done by a synod of all the Churches under his jurisdiction. Given the magnitude of the number of bishops, then an elect group is made part of the electorate. This is how the Cardinals came to be, but this is only for the Roman Church. Because all Eastern Churches are under the Pope, then it should be defaulted that every Eastern Church is represented in the conclave. If they are to be subject to the guidance and leadership of this bishop, it is only right that they are part of the synod that elects him.

Patriarchs/Major Archbishops/Primates etc. are selected that way. All bishops of the Church make the selection.

Yes, the Latin Church should elect its head, there’s no question about that. Each Church should elect its own head. No question about that either. The fact of the matter is, however, that the head of the Latin Church claims jurisdiction over all non-Latin Churches as well. Ergo, to deny the East and Orient their votes in conclave is very much like taxation without representation.

OTOH, a vote in conclave doesn’t mean that Patriarchs and Catholicoi should be given an alien honorific. And despite the fact that the title “Major-Archbishop” is an invention of Rome, since they are in principle de-facto Catholicoi I’ll include them in that list as well

Actually, the faithful have no say at all. It’s the hierarchs themselves who decide whether or not to accept. IIRC, of those to whom the “red hat” was offered, it was only the late Maximos V and the current Melkite Patriarch, Gregory III, who have respectfully declined.

I’ll try to respond to this within the confines of my abilities. The Bishop of Rome is the head of the Latin (or if you prefer Roman) Catholic Church. Therefore, he should be elected by the Latin (Roman) Church. IMHO the ideal would be the clergy of the diocese of Rome doing this. The practice is that those who have titular churches in Rome do the electing. It is then that the Bishop of Rome is also the head of all the Catholic churches.

As an aside, I’d be interested as to what happens in the Orthodox Churches. Who elects the Ecumenical Patriarch? I do understand his position is different because he does not hold a position in the Orthodox churches that is even remotely analogous to the Roman Pope.

I understand your POV. I think the Latins should elect the Bishop of Rome because he’s their head. IMHO it should be the clergy of Rome who elect their Bishop. But, that’s another tale for another time. It’s the Bishop of Rome who is then head of the rest of the Catholic communion. As the Church is not a democracy I am not sure we should have representation from all the churches in conclave. That’s just may take on the situation. On a practical note I am not sure the presence of patriarchs et al would have a significant impact on who was elected.

I was not saying the faithful have any say. I mustn’t have expressed myself well. I meant it’s more appropriate for Eastern and Oriental catholics to comment on whether their hierarchs should be accepting a Latin honorific rather than for me to comment on the same.

It really should be reciprocal - let the Latins elect their own patriarch, then have him confirmed by the patriarchs of all the Eastern churchs, the same way our patriarch is chosen by the UGCC synod then ‘confirmed’ by the Latins…

Hey, a girl can dream right?:rolleyes:

Well, let’s say it this way. Whether it’s the real clergy of Rome, or the artificial clergy of Rome (Cardinals), it’s still an election. The fact that there is an election at all rings of a certain amount of democracy.

As for the electors, I’ll go one better and say that IMHO the clergy of every diocese should elect their own bishop, with the election to be recognized by the Metropolitan. And the bishops of an ecclesiastical province should elect their own Metropolitan with the election to be recognized by the Primate. And the Metropolitan Archbishops should elect their own Primate, with the election recognized by Rome. The way it was done in the 1st Millennium. Of course none of that will never happen again. :shrug:

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