Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
Bishop Emeritus Mgr Mario Grech is among thirteen individuals who will be raised to the rank of cardinals, Pope Francis announced on Sunday morning.
Mgr Grech is the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.
During the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis announced a consistory for the creation of 13 new cardinals.
Nine of the new cardinals are younger than 80 and will have the right to participate in a future conclave.
Apart from Bishop Emeritus Mario Grech, the former Bishop of Albano and the new Prefect for the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, Bishop Marcello Semeraro, who like Mgr Grech works in the Roman Curia, will also be appointed Cardinal.
The other new cardinals include: the Archbishop of Kilgali, Rwanda, Antoine Kambanda; the Archbishop of Washington, United States, Wilton Gregory; the Archbishop of Capiz, in the Philippines, Jose Fuerte Advincula; the Archbishop of Santiago, Chile, Celestino Aós Braco; the Apostolic Vicar of Brunei, Cornelius Sim; the Archbishop of Siena, Italia, Augusto Paolo Lojudice.
The current Guardian of the Franciscan Sacro Convento in Assisi Mauro Gambetti has also been appointed Cardinal.
The four new Cardinals who are aged over 80, are Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, Archbishop Emeritus of San Cristóbal de Las Casas (Mexico); former Apostolic Nuncio Silvano Tomasi, former permanent observer at the United Nations in Geneva who then worked in the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development; Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Papal Household; and the pastor of the Shrine of Divine Love, Father Enrico Feroci.
The new cardinals will be appointed on 28 November when Pope Francis convenes the consistory..
Malta’s Bishops celebrate their friend and colleague
In a joint statement, Archbishop of Malta Charles Scicluna, Gozo Bishop Anton Teuma and Auxiliary Bishop of Malta Joseph Galea-Curmi welcomed Mgr Grech’s nomination to the Cardinalate.
They urged everyone to keep the future Cardinal in their prayers and to give thanks to the Lord for the news.
“Bishop Mario’s mission is at the heart of the Church, working together with all the bishops of the world within the various rites and cultures within the Church. This delicate task requires discernment and great wisdom so that the will of God is followed in his Church,” the Bishops maintained.
“Our Diocese celebrates that one of its children has been called for such a mission. At the same time, we feel we have bene called to support our brother with our love and our prayers. The great work carried out in our Diocese through Bishop Grech can now be enjoyed by the Universal Church.”
Government, Opposition react to the news
The Government has congratulated Mgr Grch on his appointment in a statement on Sunday.
The Government noted that the Bishop Emeritus will be the third Maltese national to be raised to Cardinal as well as the first Gozitan.
“Mgr Grech is known for his work and very often has chosen to speak on social issues. He has put forward several arguments aimed at strengthening the well being of society,” the government said.
Opposition leader Bernard Grech reacted to the news saying that this was a great honour for Malta and Gozo. He underlined that this is an important acknowledgement for Mgr Grech’s work as a spiritual leader. He augured Mgr Grech on his new appointment.
The PN has also congratulated Mgr Grech on his appointment.
Il-QT il-Papa Franġisku għadu kemm ħabbar illi l-Isqof Emeritu Mons Mario Grech se jkun maħtur Kardinal f’Novembru li…
Partit Laburista also congratulated Mgr Grech in a statement.
The news was also welcomed by President George Vella.