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Mar George Alencherry Made Cardinal: Congratulations!

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altVATICAN CITY, JAN 07: Pope Benedict XVI has appointed 22 new cardinals, one among them is the Major Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Mar George Alencherry.

"It is with great joy that I announce my intention to hold a concistory on 18 February, in which I will appoint twenty-two new members of the College of Cardinals". With these words, addressed to faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray the Angelus, Benedict XVI today announced the fourth consistory of his pontificate.

Bishop of Bellary Henry D’Souza congratulated the new cardinal. “It it an honor given both to the Syro-Malabar Church and to the entire Catholic Church in India” said Bishop.

It is a matter of great joy to the Catholic Church in India that Cardinal Alencherry is the third Indian Cardinal; the other two are Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai and Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi.

Cardinal Alencherry was elected as the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church on May 24, 2011.

"As is well known", the Pope explained, "cardinals have the task of helping Peter's Successor carry out his mission to confirm people in the faith and to be the source and foundation of the Church's unity and communion". The new cardinals "come from various parts of the world and perform various ministries in the service of the Holy See, in direct contact with the faithful as fathers and pastors of particular Churches".

Eighteen of the new cardinals, being under the age of eighty, will be electors. Their names are:

1.  1. Archbishop Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.

2.  2. Archbishop Manuel Monteiro de Castro, penitentiary major.

3.  3. Archbishop Santos Abril y Castello, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Mary Major.

4. 4. Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

5.  5. Archbishop Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

6.  6. Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

7.  7. Archbishop Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

8.  8. Archbishop Edwin Frederick O'Brien, pro-grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

9.  9. Archbishop Domenico Calcagno, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.

     10.    Archbishop Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

     11.    Major Archbishop George Alencherry of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars, India.

     12.    Archbishop Thomas Christopher Collins of Toronto, Canada.

     13.    Archbishop Dominik Jaroslav Duka, O.P. of Prague, Czech Republic.

     14.    Archbishop Willem Jacobus Eijk of Utrecht, Holland.

     15.    Archbishop Giuseppe Betori of Florence, Italy.

     16.    Archbishop Timothy Michael Dolan of New York, U.S.A.

     17.    Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki of Berlin, Germany.

     18.    Bishop John Tong Hon of Hong Kong, China.

The Holy Father also pronounced the names of four new cardinals who, being over the age of eighty, are ineligible to vote in a future conclave.  "I have", the Pope said, "decided to elevate to the dignity of cardinal a venerable prelate who serves as pastor and father of a Church, and three worthy priests who have distinguished themselves for their dedication and service". They are:

1.   Major Archbishop Lucian Muresan of Fagaras and Alba Julia of the Romanians, Romania.

2.   Fr. Julien Ries, priest of the diocese of Namur and professor emeritus of religious history at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

3.   Fr. Prosper Grech, O.S.A., professor emeritus of several Roman universities and consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

4.   Fr. Karl Josef Becker, S.J., professor emeritus of the Pontifical Gregorian University and for many years consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In closing the Pope invited the faithful to pray for the new cardinals, "asking the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, to intercede that they may always bear courageous and dedicated witness of their love for Christ and His Church".

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