Pope chooses 17 Cardinals from the church’s ‘peripheries’

Posted on October 10, 2016, in  UCANIndia

Selection of prelates from Malaysia and Bangladesh will assist the Vatican get a better 'Asian perspective' on issues.

(Note: “Go to the peripheries, get out of the church of the sacristy” has been his oft-repeated exhortation from the very beginning of  Francis’ pontificate. Most of the time, it made this scribe wonder what prompted him to repeat it so often. He was hinting that evangelization does not mean sitting within  air-conditioned offices in  parishes waiting for people to come to be preached at. That is the case in many well established Catholic countries. Francis was implying that an evangelizer should always moving into unknown territories, as he used to do while he was in his own country as bishop and cardinal, always moving out of his Episcopal residence  or living in rented homes, travelling by bus, visiting Havalas inhabited by drug addicts and prostitutes,  serving the rejected of socity as Jesus did  in His public life, which hardly any of the clerical class are prepared to do.

Of course Francis has other compelling reasons in the selection and creation of 17 new cardinals. He has also to make sure he fills the vacancies with right men, if they have to elect the next Pope who has his own visions of a synodal church, not an autocratic, authoritarian church. Now the majority of the Cardinals are conservatives, from whom he faces a lot of resistance to implement his vision of a Church of collegiality, co responsibility, subsidirity and above all a Church in dialogue, that learns as well as  teaches. One has to learn even from a grave digger, even from James Kottorcountries considered insignificant, and not only from rich and advanced  countries in the west because his vision of the Church is  “a church of the poor for the poor” from the very outset. So his priorities have to be for the wellbeing of the Church mainly in the peripheries.  james kottoor, editor)

New Delhi: The news that several of the 17 new cardinals announced by Pope Francis on Oct. 9 are from unconventional places such as Malaysia and Bangladesh indicates that the pontiff's focus is clearly on the church's "peripheries," say church leaders in India.

Along with cardinals from those Asian nations, the pope gave the nod to clerics in nations such as Mauritius, Papua New Guinea and Lesotho in southern Africa."Pope Francis is making a deliberate choice to go to the peripheries," Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay told ucanews.com.

Cardinal Gracias, part of a nine-member team of cardinals that Pope Francis appointed as advisors, said it was "a great joy" for him to hear of the naming of Archbishop Patrick D'Rozario of Dhaka and retired Archbishop Anthony Soter Fernandez of Kuala Lumpur as cardinals.

Traditionally, cardinals are appointed from locations considered Catholic centers and of global importance so to help and advise the pope with church administration issues."Obviously, he aims to give much more representation to such areas that are not represented. It will enhance the global character of the church," Cardinal Gracias said.

The two first time cardinal appointments for Bangladesh and Malaysia show "the love and care" of the pope for Asia, and these actions "will help strengthen" the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), he said.
Church leaders like Virginia Saldanha, who has been associated with the FABC, said that more cardinals coming from Asia would help the church at a global level.

"It will surely help the church in these places to get the attention they deserve," said Saldanha."Also, it will help get global church leaders get a perspective of Asia on issues," she said. Cardinal Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi, India's first cardinal from a tribal background, said the Vatican is looking to Asia because of the growth in the church in the vast region which currently has 12 percent of world 1.2 billion Catholics.

"Two third of the worlds' people live in Asia. The church cannot ignore that fact," the Cardinal Toppo said stressing the mission of the church is the prime concern of the church in its every action.Cardinal Toppo said the Catholic population in the region has been steadily increasing over the past several decades.

The prelate said this has occurred despite Catholics being a tiny minority in most parts of Asia. Many of them also struggle to survive."We are having difficult times in the region," said Cardinal Toppo alluding to an increase in religious fundamentalism." The Bangladesh church has persevered and is making great strides," said Cardinal Toppo who added that the appointment of a cardinal there should be seen in that light.

For Cardinal Gracias, the naming of Archbishop D'Rozario is "recognition of the person and the nation" in the Catholic world for their great work.With the new appointment of Archbishop D'Rozario as cardinal, the FABC will have 22 cardinals of whom 15 are below 80 years of age making them eligible to vote in a papal election. India and the Philippines combined account for nine cardinals, seven of whom are eligible to vote.

The appointment of Archbishop Fernandez as cardinal should be seen as "an honorary" act for the work he has done to help the Vatican establish diplomatic relations with his Muslim majority nation, both the cardinals said.

The Vatican appointed Archbishop Joseph Salvador Marino as the first nuncio to Malaysia in January 2013, following a decade of efforts by Archbishop Fernandez. Malaysia appointed its first resident ambassador this year.
"It is basically an honorary position," Cardinal Toppo said adding that he does not want to put motives into or interpret the actions of the pope.

"The pope freely appoints the cardinals, and it is his prerogative," said Cardinal Toppo.Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, president of Indian bishops’ conference said countries getting cardinals for a first time "is a recognition for Asia, these nations and the Catholics in them.”

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10 Responses

  1. almayasabdam says:
    From: Fr Sunil Rozario
    Sent: Saturday, October 15, 2016 5:04 PM
    To: isaac gomes

    Dear Isaac,
    Thanks for your reports. William da is very well connected with Bangladesh and the affairs of Bangladesh, in his capacity as Ex-Magistrate, the position he held for quite many years post Bangladesh War (1971). To his credit there are two recent books published, 'Ichamatir Pare 18 Gram' and 'Amra 11 Jon' . His many views are put in these two documents.
     He can give Layman's point of view. On certain matters he is very critical. All the same the intention is to make the Church clean in all fronts and the hegemony in power blocks should not simply control, but serve to Build Christ in our context. We need such leaders to make the voices heard and for the common good.
    I wish you all the best in your writings and endeavours.
    May God bless you.
    S R 

  2. almayasabdam says:

    From: William Gomes
    Sent: Saturday, October 15, 2016 1:36 AM
    To: isaac gomes
    Subject: Re: Open Letter.

    খুব ভাল কাজ করে যাচ্ছ আইজ্যাক।বাংলাদেশ ক্যাথোলীক মন্ডলী কিছু  অসৎ লিডারদের পাল্লায় পড়ে ঘুরপাক খাচ্ছে।আমি সতর্ক করে দিয়ে এসেছি,যখন ঢাকাতে আমার ৭ মাস অবস্থান কালে ব্যক্তিগত ভাবে বিশপ প্যাট্রিককে খ্রীস্টান হাসপাতাল ইস্যু নিয়ে ব্যপক আলোচনা কালে উক্ত হাসপাতাল প্রকল্প পরিত্যাগ করার সু-পরামর্শ  রেখে এসেছিলাম।ঢাকাতে এ বিষয় নিয়ে আমাদের আঠারগ্রাম নেতাদের নিয়ে কয়েক দফা মিটিং ও করেছি।যাহোক বিশপ আমার অনুরোধ রেখেছেন,এ জন্য তাকে ধন্যবাদ।হলিফেমেলী হাসপাতাল লোকসানে পৌছানোর মূলে ছিল গোল্লা মিশনের হিউবার্ট ফকির,বান্দুরার মিঃবেঞ্জামীন  গমেজ এবং ভাউয়ালের নাগরী মিশনের জন রড্রিক্স।এরা পুনরায় সচেস্ট ছিল,খ্রীস্টান হস্টেলের অধিকাংশ দখলে এনে হাসপাতাল প্রকল্প থেকে টু-পাইস কামাতে।বাবু মারকুসকে ক্রেডিট ইউনিয়ন থেকে ক্রেডিট ইউনিয়নের নিয়ম লঙ্ঘন করে বিশপকে অর্থায়ন করে অপকর্ম করেছে।টনি মজুমদারকে অনুরোধ করছি আগস্টিন কে নিয়ে এ  ব্যাপারে আগামী জেনারেল ইলেকশনের জন্য প্রস্তুতি নিতে ,যাতে বাবু মারকুসকে সমিতি থেকে তার মেম্বারশীপ বাতিল করে তাকে বের করে দেওয়া হয়।ঢাকা রমনার  নরোনা হাউজ হাতছাড়া করা ছিল বিশপের একটা আত্নঘাতি ভুল।

    ঊইলিয়াম গমেজ


    Dear Isaac,


    You are doing really wonderful work. The Laity in Bangladesh are being taken for a ride by a few dishonest leaders.  I have always raised alarm bells, especially during my seven-month stay in Dhaka when I personally Archbishop Patrick D’Rozarioand and advised him to desist from his plan of converting a portion of the Youth Hostel at Asad Gate Dhaka into a hospital.  I also held several meetings with Catholic leaders of 18-Villages which comprise lay leadership. Anyway, I am happy to learn that the Archbishop has paid heed to our collective advice and aborted his hospital plan on the youth hostel land.  The culprits for Holy Family Hospital running into a loss were Hubert Fakir of Golla Mission, Benjamin Gomes of Bandura and John Rodricks of Nagari Mission Bhawal.  These very persons were on the lookout to make money by converting a portion of the youth hostel into a hospital after landing Holy Family Hospital in the red. Dhaka Christian Credit Union President Babu Marcus has gone against the rules of the Union by making a huge advance payout to the Archbishop. I have therefore requested Tony Mazumder to take the help of Augustine and terminate the membership of Babu Marcus at the next General Election of Dhaka Christian Credit Union for this gross violation. In this context I must say it was a Himalayan Blunder on the part of the Archbishop to let go of Noronha House at Ramna Dhaka.

    William Gomes   

    Saturday, October 15, 2016


  3. almayasabdam says:

    On Friday, October 14, 2016 wrote to Mr William Gomes Dhaka Bangladesh

    Respected Mr William Gomes

    Fr Sunil Rosario has forwarded to me your report on Christian Hospital at Asad Gate and asked me to comment on it.  I used the information in your report to comment on the selection of 17 new Cardinals by our Pope including the elevation of Archbishop Patrick D'Rozario.

    Would request you to go through my comments given below and the feedback thereon published in Church Citizens Voice and Facebook.


    Isaac Gomes



  4. almayasabdam says:
    From: Joseph Uday Rodrick
    Sent: Friday, October 14, 2016 7:06 PM
    To: isaac gomes
    Subject: Re: Pope's selection of 17 new cardinals – Response to Edward Tony Mazumder

    Dear Isaac,
    Very painful indeed seeing the work of priests. These priests should be defrocked and taken to court for justice.
    With regards

  5. almayasabdam says:
    Sent: Friday, October 14, 2016 8:38 PM
    To: Fs Rozario
    Subject: Re: My comments in CCV and facebook on the Pope's selection of 17 new cardinals

    Dear Fr Sunil,

    Actually I went by the Report of William Gomes where he  wrote Narna House.  I will correct it to Noronha House.



  6. almayasabdam says:
    Sent: Friday, October 14, 2016 5:13 PM
    To: isaac gomes
    Subject: Pope's selection of 17 new cardinals

    Dear Isaac,
    In your comment, 'Narna House' should be Noronha House. 
    Certain Noronha a Goan had some property in Dhaka. He handed over to the Church and that's house this name is preserved. He had connection with Kolkata also.
    Sincerely Yours,
    Fr. Sunil

  7. almayasabdam says:
    It is nice to hear from brothers across the border (Bangladesh). We should support them with ideas for unity and strength.


  8. almayasabdam says:

    Though 'POVERTY' is one of the major vows which all priests must take during their ordination, now-a-days the air of materialism/capitalism is putting a layer of rust on the great vow and blowing clergies towards cosmetic civilian life. Chittagong Catholic Club was the first to be hit by our Archbishop. That time he was the Bishop of Chittagong and sold a church property to a local developer to build an apartment complex. But as much I know that this club property was built by some christians for a better purpose.They were living in Chittagong and realised that they needed a place for all for any community purpose. They handed over the property to the Church Authority to avoid any unwanted situation. No doubt it was a great idea but now unfortunately the Bishop felt more comfortable with cash rather than maintain the property. The same thing happened with the students' hostel. Dhaka Credit paid Taka 2.5 crore to Archbishop as an advance, Babu Markus,President of Dhaka Credit got enough power to take the decision for this huge amount of money transfer without informing the members !!!! Recently this  agreement has been cancelled by the CBCB and I am not sure if the money has been returned or not. Members are saving money for better future support but some office bearers / leaders treat this money as their own property. In Bible we found that Judas killed himself but in fact he hasn't. Till now Judas is alive and he is living among us .. in different names, in different faces…Judases are always roaming around us. We must find them and hunt them down if we really want to save our society.


  9. almayasabdam says:

    Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2016 7:41 PM
    To: isaac gomes
    Subject: Re: Pope's selection of 17 new cardinals

    Shabash Isaac. Keep the flag flying high.


  10. almayasabdam says:

    Dear Isaac,

    Your analysis will give a clear picture of the goodness and the practices underneath that goes on in the name of God's service. You are quite bold in articulating the facts and the future direction. Congratulations!

    Fr. Sunil


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