D’Rozario first Catholic cardinal in Bangladesh

D’Rozario first Catholic cardinal in Bangladesh

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Dhaka – Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario, the highest ranking priest of the Roman Catholic Church in the country, has been promoted to cardinal, the first ever to reach such a high position from Bangladesh.
Pope Francis on Sunday promoted D’Rozario and 16 other Roman Catholic prelates from around the world to the rank of cardinal, reported Reuters.They include 13 who are under 80 years old and thus eligible to succeed him one day.
Cardinals, who wear red hats and are known as “princes of the Church”, are the most senior in the Roman Catholic hierarchy after the Pope and serve as his principal advisers around the world and in the Vatican.
Naming new cardinals is one of the most significant powers of the papacy, allowing a pontiff to put his stamp on the future of the 1.2-billion-member global Church.
Cardinals under 80, known as cardinal-electors, can enter a secret conclave to choose a new pope from their own ranks once Francis dies or resigns.
Francis, the former cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected in a conclave on March 13, 2013.
Apart from 73-year-old D’Rozario, the other new cardinal-electors come from Italy, the Central African Republic, Spain, the United States, Brazil, Venezuela, Belgium, Mauritius, Mexico and Papua New Guinea, said the Reuters report.
Francis, making the surprise announcement at his weekly Sunday address, said the ceremony to elevate the prelates, known as a consistory, would be held on Nov 19.
Born in Barisal’s Padrishibpur in 1943, Patrick D’Rozario was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Dhaka in November 2010 by then Pope Benedict XVI.
In October 2011, he succeeded Archbishop Paulinus Costa as Archbishop of Dhaka. He is also the president of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh.
He is a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross and was ordained priest in 1972.
Between 1990 and 1995, D’Rozario served as Bishop of Rajshahi and then went on to serve as Bishop of Chittagong.
Significantly, the pope on Sunday also said that the current Vatican ambassador in Syria, Italian Archbishop Mario Zenari, would be elevated but would remain in his post to show the Church’s concern for “beloved and martyred Syria” – an allusion to the devastating civil war going on in the country.
It was believed to be the first time in recent history that a Vatican ambassador, known as a nuncio, would have the rank of cardinal.
The pope has made numerous appeals for an end to Syria’s war and last month urged the forces engaged in the conflict to stop bombing civilians in Aleppo, warning them they would face God’s judgment one day.

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