Cardinal Robert W. McElroy, 68, received the red hat from Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica on Aug. 27 and participated in the two-day meeting of 197 cardinals, patriarchs and senior officials of the Secretariat of State from Aug. 29 to 30.
The cardinal, who was appointed auxiliary bishop of San Francisco, the city where he was born, by Pope Benedict XVI in July 2010 and bishop of San Diego by Pope Francis in March 2015, gave this exclusive interview to America’s Vatican correspondent in Rome on Aug. 31, the 10th anniversary of the death of the Italian cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, S.J.
In the interview, the cardinal, whom many see as the American analog of Cardinal Martini, shared brief reflections on being made a cardinal and then spoke at length about the two-day meeting of cardinals that Pope Francis had tasked with discussing “Predicate Evangelium,” the constitution for the reform of the Roman Curia that he promulgated on March 19 and that came into force on June 5.
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Gerard O’Connell is America’s Vatican correspondent and author of The Election of Pope Francis: An Inside Story of the Conclave That Changed History. He has been covering the Vatican since 1985.
With thanks to America and Gerard O’Connell, where this article originally appeared.