Pope to new Cardinals: Work for ‘an ever more symphonic and synodal Church’

By Lisa Zengarini
Pope Francis presides over consistory

“The College of Cardinals is called to resemble a symphony orchestra, representing the harmony and synodality of the Church.” Pope Francis made this remark as he presided on Saturday at the Consistory for the creation of 21 Cardinals in St. Peter’s Square.

Diversity in one Catholic Church

In his homily addressed to the College of Cardinals and its new members (including 19 archbishops and bishops, and two priests), the Pope reflected on the reading from the Acts on the story of the Pentecost, in which the Apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and experienced the gift of tongues as they preached the Gospel to Jews of different nationalities in Jerusalem (Acts 2, 1-11).

The gift of being evangelized in our own language

He drew attention to the similarity between all those Jews of different nationalities and languages who heard the Apostles preaching to them and the Bishops and Cardinals of our time hailing “from all parts of the world, from the most diverse nations”.

Seen in this perspective,  Pope Francis noted, the story of the Pentecost  should make us “think back with gratitude on the gift of having been evangelized and having been drawn from various peoples who, each in their own time received the Kerygma, the proclamation of the mystery of salvation, and in welcoming it, were baptized in the Holy Spirit and became part of the Church” who “speaks all languages, is One and is Catholic.”

He therefore pointed out that before being “apostles”, before being priests, Bishops, Cardinals, pastors should remember that they are “Parthians, Medes, Elamites etc” like those Jews, and should be grateful for having received the grace of the Gospel among their respective peoples of origin and in their own language, through their grandparents and parents, catechists, priests, and religious.

“In the ‘flesh’ of our people, the Holy Spirit has worked the wonder of communicating the mystery of Jesus Christ who died and rose again. And this came to us ‘in our language’ (…). The faith is transmitted ‘in dialect’ by mothers and grandmothers.”

Evangelized evangelizers, not funtionaries

“Indeed – the Pope said – we are evangelizers to the extent we cherish in our hearts the wonder and gratitude of having been evangelized, even of being evangelized, because this is really a gift always present, that must be continually renewed in our memories and in faith, because, he emphasized, “We are evangelized evangelizers, non functionaries”.


Thanks to Vatican News.

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