Ferrao is the first Archbishop of Goa to be elevated to the cardinalate, and only the sixth person of Goanese descent to achieve that rank. Archbishop Anthony is the first Telugu priest in the history of the Catholic Church to be made a cardinal. “It is the will and the grace of God that I was made a cardinal. I’m not awesome. It was Pope Francis who made the decision,” Anthony told TOI. “I will reach out to the periphery of society and work for the upliftment of the poor and oppressed, as the Pope suggests. I will be involved in development activities not only in Telugu states but also in other regions. ”
In keeping with recent trends, many of the new cardinals come from dioceses where Catholics are a distinct minority. The other prelates on the pope’s new list come from France, Brazil, the Philippines, Mongolia, Paraguay, Nigeria, East Timor and Italy, confirming his tradition of focusing on the peripheries when seeking Additions to the College of Cardinals. The “red hats,” as they are often called because of the color of their zucchini (caps), also serve as key papal advisers, with those under 80 appointed as members of Vatican offices and councils. The current membership of the College of Cardinals is 208, including 117 electors. After the number increases to 229 cardinals, there will be 131 voters.
At present, the Catholic Church has four Cardinals serving in India – Cleemis Catholicos (Trivandrum), Telesphore Toppo (Ranchi), Oswald Gracias (Mumbai) and George Alencherry (Ernakulam). “It is with great pride and joy that we would like to inform that Archbishop Filipe Neri Antonio Sebastiao di Rosario Ferrao – Archbishop of Goa and Daman – has been chosen by Pope Francis to be appointed Cardinal,” Fr. Barry said. Cardozo, director of the Diocesan Center for Social Communications and Media in Goa. Given Ferrao’s age – he is 69 – he will be able to participate in the conclave which will eventually find a successor to Pope Francis. Ditto for his fellow cardinal-designate Anthony, who is 60 years old. Anthony hails from Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh and was appointed Archbishop of Hyderabad in January last year. India’s first cardinal, Valerian Gracias, was of Goa origin, with roots in Dramapur, Navelim.
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