Who are the 13 new cardinals created by Pope Francis from around the world? They hail from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe…
Here are brief biographies of the Church’s newest cardinals.
Cardinal Mario Grech of Malta is the general secretary of the Synod of Bishops. The 63-year old former Bishop of Gozo was ordained a priest on May 26, 1984. With a licentiate and doctorate from Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University and the Angelicum respectively, he has held several posts, including teaching, in the Church in Malta. Pope Benedict appointed him bishop in 2011 and Pope Francis called him to Rome as pro-secretary general of the Synod of Bishops. He was appointed is General Secretary on September 15, 2020.
Cardinal Marcello Semeraro from Italy’s Apulia region is the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in the Vatican. Ordained a priest on September 8, 1971, the 72-year old cardinal taught dogmatic theology ecclesiology following his studies in Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University. Appointed Bishop of Oria in 1998 he was transferred to Albano Diocese in 2004. In 2013, Pope Francis appointed him secretary of the “Council of Cardinals”, which advises him on the government of the Church and the Roman Curia. On 15 October 2020, Pope Francis appointed him the head of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Cardinal Antoine Kambanda, Archbishop of Kigali (Rwanda), lost his family, except a brother, in the genocidal war of 1994. After his studies in Burundi, Uganda and Kenya, where he also did his philosophical studies, he returned to Rwanda. The 62-year old cardinal was ordained a priest by Saint John Paul II in Rwanda 1990, after which he taught in the Minor Seminary of Ndera (Kigali). He has a doctorate in moral theology from Rome and has headed the Caritas of Kigali and the diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace. Pope Francis appointed him Bishop of Kibungo in 2013 and transferred him to the Archdiocese of Kigali in 2018.
Cardinal Gregory Wilton, Archbishop of Washington, USA, is from Chicago, Illinois, where he completed his philosophical studies. Ordained a priest in 1973, he obtained a doctorate in liturgy from Rome’s Pontifical Athenaeum of Saint Anselm. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago in 1983, Bishop of Belleville in 1993, Archbishop of Atlanta in 2004 and Archbishop of Washington in 2019. He was president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) from 2001 to 2004.
Cardinal Jose F. Advincula, Archbishop of Capiz, Philippines, ordained a priest for the archdiocese in 1976. The 68-year old cardinal was the spiritual director of the St. Pius X Seminary, where he was also professor and dean of education. He studied Psychology and Canon Law between Manila and Rome, obtaining a licentiate in Canon Law. Back home, he served in the seminaries of Vigan, Nueva Segovia and in the regional seminary of Jaro. In 1995 he was appointed rector of the St. Pius X Seminary of Capiz and became the Defender of the Bond, promoter of justice and finally judicial vicar of the archdiocese. He was appointed Bishop of San Carlos in 2001 and was transferred to Capiz as archbishop in 2011.