Tag Archives: ecclesiology

Getting a title: Pope assigns parish churches to new cardinals

John Tong Hon helps Julien Ries with his mitre.jpg

In a public Consistory the Pope created 22 new Cardinals today, though 4 are over 80 years of age and therefore cannot vote in a papal conclave.

At the ceremony in which the Pope creates a cardinal, each one is assigned a church in Rome, a titular or diaconal church.  He becomes, in way, the pastor of a Roman parish and thus diocesan priests of Rome and therefore capable of electing the Bishop of Rome. This is “ecclesiology 101a.” 

The College of Cardinal is divided into three groups, cardinal bishops, priests and deacons. There is a dean and a vice dean of the College. Only by exception are cardinals not bishops or consecrated before being created cardinal per the Code of Canon Law (Cardinal Karl Becker was not consecrated a bishop prior to today’s bishop and very often Jesuits created a cardinal who are 80 and above are typically dispensed from being consecrated; Avery Dulles was). Cardinal priests who are diocesan bishops of dioceses, while curial officials are made Cardinal Deacons. 

The tradition of the Church is that after a number of years as a cardinal deacon one can be “promoted” to the order of cardinal priests. Some cardinals in key positions, such as the Dean of the College or prefect of an important Vatican congregation, e.g., CDF, are elevated to an open slot among the six Cardinal Bishops. There are seven cardinalatial titular dioceses, but by tradition the Dean always has two, Ostia and one other. There are also a four Cardinal Patriarchs of Eastern Churches, who rank in the College just after the Cardinal Bishops.

If you watched the ceremony each of the cardinals walked away from the Pope with a scroll. The scrolls documents man’s name as a cardinal and gives the name of his Roman church.

New cardinal deacons and their titles:

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, diaconate of Nostra Signora di Coromoto in San Giovanni di Dio.

Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, diaconate of San Domenico di Guzman.
Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, diaconate of San Ponziano.
Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, diaconate of San Cesareo in Palatio.
Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, diaconate of Santi Vito, Modesto e Crescenzia.
Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, diaconate of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami.
Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, diaconate of Sant’Elena fuori Porta Prenestina.
Cardinal Edwin Frederick O’Brien, diaconate of San Sebastiano al Palatino.
Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, diaconate of Annunciazione della Beata Vergine Maria a Via Ardeatina.

Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, diaconate of Sacro Cuore di Gesu a Castro Pretorio.


New cardinal priests and their titles

Cardinal George Alencherry, title of San Bernardo alle Terme.
Cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins, title of San Patrizio.
Cardinal Dominik Jaroslav Duka, O.P., title of Santi Marcellino e Pietro.
Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, title of San Callisto.
Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, title of San Marcello.
Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, title of Nostra Signora di Guadalupe a Monte Mario.
Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, title of San Giovanni Maria Vianney.
Cardinal John Tong Hon, title of Regina Apostolorum.

The over 80 cardinal:


Cardinal Lucian Muresan, title of Sant’Atanasio (still head of the Romanian Byzantine Church)
Cardinal Julien Ries, diaconate of Sant’Antonio di Padova a Circonvallazione Appia.
Cardinal Prosper Stanley Grech, O.S.A., diaconate of Santa Maria Goretti.
Cardinal Karl Josef Becker, S.J., diaconate of San Giuliano Martire.

At the moment, the ranking Cardinal Bishop is the Dean, Angelo Cardinal Sodano who has both Diocese of Albano and the Diocese of Ostia. The Salesian Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, the Secretary of State, is a cardinal bishop of Frascati.  He is the Camerlengo.

The ranking Cardinal Deacon is Jean-Louis Pierre Cardinal Tauran of the diaconal church S. Apollinare alle Terme Neroniane-Alessandrine. He is still an elector. That makes him the Protodeacon. He gets to announce the name of the newly elected Pope.

Benedict to new Cardinals: you are entrusted with the service of love: love for God & for Church –it’s absolute and unconditional

Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam.

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With these words the entrance hymn has led us into the solemn and evocative ritual of the ordinary public Consistory for the creation of new Cardinals, with the placing of the biretta, the handing over of the ring and the assigning of a titular church. They are the efficacious words with which Jesus constituted Peter as the solid foundation of the Church. On such a foundation the faith represents the qualitative factor: Simon becomes Peter – the Rock – in as much as he professed his faith in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God. In the proclamation of Christ the Church is bound to Peter and Peter is placed in the Church as a rock; although it is Christ himself who builds up the Church, Peter must always be a constitutive element of that upbuilding. He will always be such through faithfulness to his confession made at Caesarea Philippi, in virtue of the affirmation, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”.

The words Jesus addressed to Peter highlight well the ecclesial character of today’s event. The new Cardinals, in receiving the title of a church in this city or of a suburban Diocese, are fully inserted in the Church of Rome led by the Successor of Peter, in order to cooperate closely with him in governing the universal Church. These beloved Brothers, who in a few minutes’ time will enter and become part of the College of Cardinals, will be united with new and stronger bonds not only to the Roman Pontiff but also to the entire community of the faithful spread throughout the world. In carrying out their particular service in support of the Petrine ministry, the new Cardinals will be called to consider and evaluate the events, the problems and the pastoral criteria which concern the mission of the entire Church. In this delicate task, the life and the death of the Prince of the Apostles, who for love of Christ gave himself even unto the ultimate sacrifice, will be an example and a helpful witness of faith for the new Cardinals.

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Benedict: Our divisions diminish our witness to Christ…The goal of full unityis a secondary victory but important for the good of the human family

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Dear brothers and sisters! It is with great joy that I extend my warm greetings to all of you who have gathered in this basilica for the liturgical Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, concluding the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, in this year when we are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, that the Blessed John XXIII announced in this very basilica on January 25, 1959. The theme offered for our meditation in the Week of prayer which we conclude today, is: “All shall be changed by the victory of Jesus Christ our Lord” (cf. 1 Cor 15.51-58).

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William Charles Skurla elected 8th bishop of the Ruthenian Eparchy, Pittsburgh

WC Skurla.jpgPope Benedict XVI elected William Charles Skurla, 55, as the 8th bishop (and 5th Archeparch) of the Pittsburgh Ruthenian Church, until now, the Eparch of Passaic (NJ).

The Archeparch-designate has been a priest for nearly 25 years and a bishop for nearly 10. This is third eparchy to have been elected to lead. He succeeds Archbishop Basil who died on June 10, 2010.
The Archeparchy of Pittsburgh is a See of nearly 60,000 souls (2010 stats).
May God grant Archbishop William many years.

Church has role proposing a more excellent way: happiness & freedom

At 11:30 am, Rome time, Pope Benedict XVI met with the bishops of region IV (Baltimore, Delaware, Virginia, DC and the Military Services) to give his address during their Ad Limina

Below is a selection of the Pope’s text, (emphasis mine):

For her part, the Church in the United States is
called, in season and out of season, to proclaim a Gospel which not only
proposes unchanging moral truths but proposes them precisely as the key to
human happiness and social prospering
(cf. Gaudium et Spes, 10). To the extent
that some current cultural trends contain elements that would curtail the
proclamation of these truths, whether constricting it within the limits of a
merely scientific rationality, or suppressing it in the name of political power
or majority rule, they represent a threat not just to Christian faith, but also
to humanity itself and to the deepest truth about our being and ultimate
vocation, our relationship to God. When a culture attempts to suppress the
dimension of ultimate mystery, and to close the doors to transcendent truth, it
inevitably becomes impoverished and falls prey
, as the late Pope John Paul II
so clearly saw, to reductionist and totalitarian readings of the human person
and the nature of society.

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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