3 U.S. mod­er­ates among 17 Pope Frances names as car­di­nals

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By Ni­cole Win­field

VAT­I­CAN CITY — Pope Fran­cis named 17 new car­di­nals Sun­day — three of them Amer­i­can mod­er­ates, in­clud­ing Chicago Arch­bishop Blase Cupich and In­di­anapo­lis Arch­bishop Joseph Tobin — in a clear sig­nal to the con­ser­va­tive U.S. church hi­er­ar­chy that he val­ues pas­tors fo­cused more on mercy than morals.

Tobin’s nom­i­na­tion also car­ries a po­lit­i­cal mes­sage ahead of the U.S. elec­tion next month, given that he op­posed a re­quest from In­di­ana Gov. Michael Pence, now the run­ning mate of Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump, to not set­tle Syr­ian refugees in the state.

“I am shocked be­yond words by the de­ci­sion of the Holy Fa­ther,” Tobin tweeted. “Please pray for me.”

Thir­teen of the new car­di­nals, in­clud­ing all the Amer­i­cans, are un­der age 80 and thus el­i­gi­ble to vote in a fu­ture con­clave to elect Fran­cis’ suc­ces­sor, the key Cupich Far­rell job of a car­di­nal.

As is Fran­cis’ tra­di­tion, the new car­di­nals hail from some of the most far-flung and pe­riph­eral cor­ners of the globe, with Africa, Asia, South Amer­ica and Ocea­nia Tobin get­ting far more rep­re­sen­ta­tion in this round than Europe, which has long dom­i­nated the Col­lege of Car­di­nals.

In all, seven coun­tries that have never had a cardi- nal are get­ting one in this, the third batch of red­hat­ted church­men named by Latin Amer­ica’s firstever pope. Europe still has the most vot­ing-age car­di­nals with 54.

Only one Ital­ian elec­tor was named: Fran­cis’ am­bas­sador to “the beloved and mar­tyred Syria,” Car­di­nal­elect Mario Ze­nari.

The third Amer­i­can, Car­di­nal-elect Kevin Far­rell, the out­go­ing bishop of Dal­las, was an ex­pected nom­i­na­tion. Fran­cis in Au­gust named him to head the big new Vat­i­can de­part­ment for laity, fam­ily and life is­sues.

Speak­ing Sun­day at the end of a spe­cial Mass on the steps of St. Peter’s Basil­ica, Fran­cis said the 17 would be el­e­vated at a con­sis­tory on Nov. 19, on the eve of the close to his Holy Year of Mercy.

“Their prove­nance from 11 na­tions ex­presses the uni­ver­sal­ity of the church that an­nounces and is wit­ness to the good news of the mercy of God in ev­ery cor­ner of the world,” Fran­cis said.

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