(photo from Vatican News)
On Sunday 29 May, Pope Francis announced that Yorkshire-born Archbishop Arthur Roche will be made a Cardinal in a ceremony on 27 August, making him the third English cardinal and one of two cardinals from England eligible to vote in any future conclave to elect a new pope.
Archbishop Roche is one of 21 new cardinals mostly from distant corners of the world, including two Indian bishops, an Italian missionary serving in Mongolia, and bishops in Singapore, Ghana, Nigeria and East Timor. Sixteen of the new cardinals are within the age limit for any future conclave. Archbishop Roche’s promotion follows his appointment last year to lead Vatican’s department for the Liturgy (see The Portico 42)
The Pope also chose to give a Cardinal’s red hat to Robert McElroy, the Bishop of San Diego, in what is reported by America Magazine as “the biggest surprise of this consistory for the church in the United States”. Bishop McElroy is regarded as one of the strongest supporters of the Pope’s vision for the Church, and his promotion has perhaps also sent a strong message in response to recent controversies about Holy Communion, as Bishop McElroy has been firmly opposed to the withholding of Holy Communion from individuals, widely regarded as the weaponisation of the Eucharist.