Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Maltese Cardinal

Cardinal Prospero Grech OSA
Among the 22 new Cardinals being elected today is the second Maltese Cardinal ever to wear the red hat. Mgr Prospero Grech OSA who hails from Vittoriosa, was born on December 24, 1925. He joined the Augustinian Order in 1943 and three years later was sent to Rome to further his theological studies. He was ordained priest on March 25, 1950. The new Cardinal has been working with Pope Benedict XVI for 20 years. Their working relationship started when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It continued to develop when Mgr Grech was nominated member of the Pontifical Theological Academy. The first Maltese Cardinal was Fabrizio Sceberras Testaferrata (1757-1843), Apostolic Nuncio and, subsequently, a prominent figure in the Roman Curia. Mgr Grech’s election to the College of Cardinals is, first and foremost, a personal honor. It signifies the great esteem in which he is held by both the Pontiff and also the Holy See. The nomination is also of particular privilege for the Order of St Augustine. He will be the first Augustinian cardinal in 111 years. His nomination is recognition of the bountiful contribution that the Church in Malta has made and continues to make to the universal Church.
One of the Cardinals receiving the symbolic red biretta
The other Cardinals from the North American continent are: Card. Timothy Dolan of New York, Card. Edwin O’Brien who works in the Vatican and Card. Christopher Collins of Toronto, Canada. With the creation of 22 new Cardinals, the College of Cardinals now has 213 members of whom 125, being under the age of eighty, are eligible to vote in an eventual conclave for the election of a new Pope. The non electors, that is Cardinals over the age of eighty and ineligible to vote in a conclave, now number 88. Pope Benedict XVI has created eighty-four cardinals in the four consistories of his pontificate. The current members of the College of Cardinals come from seventy-one States, distributed as follows: Europe 119, North America (U.S.A. and Canada) 21, Latin America 32, Africa 17, Asia 20 and Oceania 4.

No comments:

Post a Comment