Pope Francis on 1st September 2019 released 13 names of prelates to be created Cardinals on 5th October 2019. Among them are 10 who will be eligible to vote in a future conclave and three others who are above the age of 80, and thus ineligible to vote in a conclave, but who, according to Pope Francis have distinguished themselves in service to the Church.
Two African Bishops among those to be made cardinals are Archbishop Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, o.f.m. cap, of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Archbishop Cristóbal López Romero, sdb, of Rabat in Morocco.
The 1st Vice President of SECAM and Bishop of Mthatha in South Africa, Bishop Sithembele Sipuka, has indicated following the nominations that, raising the Bishops to the rank of Cardinals, Pope Francis is creating an opportunity for them to be more visible and “a platform for them to be heard, and thus to be able to influence the direction of policies at higher levels of government”. He is thus optimistic that, the named Cardinals will play an important role in their countries which require the presence and participation of the Church at a higher level.
Others to be created Cardinals are:
Bishop Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, mccj, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Archbishop José Tolentino Medonça, Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church, Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo – Archbishop of Jakarta, Archbishop Juan de la Caridad García Rodríguez – Archbishop de San Cristóbal of Habana, Archbishop Jean-Claude Höllerich, sj – Archbishop of Luxembourg, Bishop Alvaro L. Ramazzini Imeri – Bishop of Huehuetenamgo, Archbishop Matteo Zuppi – Archbishop of Bologna, Father Michael Czerny, sj – Undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Archbishop Michael Louis Fitzgerald – Former Apostolic Nuncio of Egypt, Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevičius, sj – Archbishop Emeritus of Kaunas, Bishop Eugenio Dal Corso, psdp – Bishop Emeritus of Benguela.