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Jesus asks us, ‘can I count on you?’ — Pope Francis creates 20 cardinals for the Catholic Church

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• Cardinal Oscar Cantoni, bishop of Como, receives the red biretta from Pope Francis at the consistory in St. Peter’s Basilica, Aug. 27, 2022. | Daniel Ibáñez / CNA
Pope Francis at the consistory in St. Peter's Basilica, Aug. 27, 2022Pope Francis at the consistory in St. Peter’s Basilica, Aug. 27, 2022 | Daniel Ibáñez / CNA
Paraguay20204Cardinal Adalberto Martínez Flores, the first cardinal from Paraguay. | Daniel Ibáñez / CNA
Pope Francis with Cardinal Arthur Roche, Prefect of the Vatican's Dicastery of Divine Worship and Discipline of Sacraments, at the consistory in St. Peter's Basilica, Aug. 27, 2022Pope Francis with Cardinal Arthur Roche, Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery of Divine Worship and Discipline of Sacraments, at the consistory in St. Peter’s Basilica, Aug. 27, 2022 | Daniel Ibáñez / CNA
BecciuBasilicaconsistoryCardinal Angelo Becciu (left) at the consistory in St. Peter’s Basilica, Aug. 27, 2022. | Daniel Ibáñez / CNA

Pope Francis created 20 new cardinals for the Catholic Church during a liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica Saturday.

“Jesus calls us by name; he looks us in the eye and he asks: Can I count on you?” Pope Francis said in a homily addressed to the College of Cardinals and its new members on Aug. 27.

“The Lord,” he said, “wants to bestow on us his own apostolic courage, his zeal for the salvation of every human being, without exception. He wants to share with us his magnanimity, his boundless and unconditional love, for his heart is afire with the mercy of the Father.”

The pope’s reflection followed a reading from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 12, verses 49-50: “In that time, Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!’”

“The words of Jesus, in the very middle of the Gospel of Luke, pierce us like an arrow,” Francis said.

“The Lord calls us once more to follow him along the path of his mission,” he said. “A fiery mission – like that of Elijah – not only for what he came to accomplish but also for how he accomplished it. And to us who in the Church have been chosen from among the people for a ministry of particular service, it is as if Jesus is handing us a lighted torch and telling us: ‘Take this; as the Father has sent me so I now send you.’”

The pope ended his homily mentioning that one cardinal-elect, Richard Kuuia Baawobr of Wa (Ghana), was not present. Francis asked for prayers for the African prelate, explaining Baawobr had been taken ill.

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At the beginning of the consistory, Pope Francis pronounced the opening prayer of the ceremony in Latin.

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During the ceremony, the new cardinals made a profession of faith by reciting the Creed. They then pronounced an oath of fidelity and obedience to the pope and his successors.

Each cardinal then approached Pope Francis, kneeling before him to receive the red birretta, the cardinal’s ring, and a document naming the titular church he has been assigned.

Pope Francis embraced each new cardinal, saying to him: “Pax Domini sit semper tecum,” which is Latin for “the peace of the Lord be with you always.” Each cardinal responded: “Amen.”

The new cardinals also exchanged a sign of peace with a number of the members of the College of Cardinals, representative of the whole college.

While placing the red biretta on the head of each cardinal, the pope recited these words: “To the glory of almighty God and the honor of the Apostolic See, receive the scarlet biretta as a sign of the dignity of the cardinalate, signifying your readiness to act with courage, even to the shedding of your blood, for the increase of the Christian faith, for the peace and tranquility of the people of God and for the freedom and growth of the Holy Roman Church.”

As he gave each new cardinal the ring, Francis said: “Receive this ring from the hand of Peter and know that, with the love of the Prince of the Apostles, your love for the Church is strengthened.”

In his homily, the pope said: “The Lord wants to bestow on us his own apostolic courage, his zeal for the salvation of every human being, without exception. He wants to share with us his magnanimity, his boundless and unconditional love, for his heart is afire with the mercy of the Father.”

He also recalled another kind of fire, that of charcoal. “This fire,” he said, “burns in a particular way in the prayer of adoration, when we silently stand before the Eucharist and bask in the humble, discreet and hidden presence of the Lord. Like that charcoal fire, his presence becomes warmth and nourishment for our daily life.”

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“A Cardinal loves the Church, always with that same spiritual fire, whether dealing with great questions or handling everyday problems, with the powerful of this world or those ordinary people who are great in God’s eyes,” he said.

The pope named three men as examples for the cardinals to follow: Saint Charles de Foucauld, Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, and Cardinal Van Thuân.

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The consistory to create cardinals also included a greeting and thank you to Pope Francis, expressed by Cardinal Arthur Roche, prefect of the liturgy dicastery, on behalf of all the new cardinals.

Cardinal Arthur Roche speaking on behalf of the new cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica, Aug. 27. 2022. Daniel Ibáñez / CNA
Cardinal Arthur Roche speaking on behalf of the new cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica, Aug. 27. 2022. Daniel Ibáñez / CNA

“All of us, coming from different parts of the world, with our personal stories and different life situations, carry out our ministry in the vineyard of the Lord. As diocesan and religious priests, we are at the service of preaching the Gospel in many different ways and in different cultures, but always united in the one faith and the one Church,” Roche said.

“Now, in manifesting your trust in us, you call us to this new service, in an even closer collaboration with your ministry, within the broad horizon of the universal Church,” he continued. “God knows the dust of which we are all made, and we know well that without Him we are capable of falling short.”

Roche quoted Saint Gregory the Great, who once wrote to a bishop: “We are all weak, but he is weakest of all who ignores his own weakness.”

“However, we draw strength from you, Holy Father,” he said, “from your witness, your spirit of service and your call to the entire Church to follow the Lord with greater fidelity; living the joy of the Gospel with discernment, courage and, above all, with an openness of heart that manifests itself in welcoming everyone, especially those who suffer the injustice of poverty that marginalizes, the suffering of pain that seeks a response of meaning, the violence of wars that turn brothers into enemies. We share with you the desire and commitment for communion in the Church.”

At the end of the consistory to create cardinals, Pope Francis convened a consistory for the cardinals to give their approval to the canonizations of Blessed Artemide Zatti and Giovanni Battista Scalabrini.

The new cardinals are:

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— Cardinal Arthur Roche, 72, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and former Bishop of Leeds (England);

— Lazarus You Heung-sik, 70, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy and former Bishop of Daejeon (South Korea);

— Jean-Marc Noël Aveline, 63, Archbishop of Marseille, the first French diocesan bishop to get the honor during Pope Francis’ pontificate;

— Peter Ebere Okpaleke, 59, Bishop of Ekwulobia in the central region of Nigeria, who was created bishop in 2012 by Benedict XVI;

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— Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, 77, Archbishop of Manaus, in Brazil’s Amazon region, a Franciscan who played a leading role during the Amazon Synod and as Vice President of the recently created Amazonian Bishops’ Conference;

— Filipe Neri António Sebastião do Rosário Ferrão, 69, Archbishop of Goa (India), appointed bishop by St. John Paul II in 1993;

— Robert McElroy, 68, Bishop of San Diego (United States), whose diocese is suffragan to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, led by the President of the USCCB, Archbishop José Gomez;

— Virgilio do Carmo Da Silva, 68, a Salesian, since 2019 the Archbishop of Dili (East Timor);

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— Oscar Cantoni, 71, Bishop of Como (Italy), appointed in January 2005 by St. John Paul II, who is suffragan to Milan;

— Archbishop Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, L.C., 77, president of the Governorate of the Vatican City State and of the Pontifical Commission for the Vatican City State; the Spaniard is the first Legionary of Christ to become a cardinal;

— Anthony Poola, 60, Archbishop of Hyderabad (India), a bishop since 2008 and the first dalit to become a cardinal;

–Paulo Cezar Costa, 54, Archbishop of Brasilia (Brazil), the fourth archbishop of the Brazilian capital to become a cardinal;

— Richard Kuuia Baawobr, 62, Bishop of Wa (Ghana), former Superior General of the White Fathers, and bishop since 2016;

— William Goh Seng Chye, 65, Archbishop of Singapore since 2013;

— Adalberto Martinez Flores, 71, Archbishop of Asunción (Paraguay) and the first Paraguayan cardinal;

— Giorgio Marengo, 47, Italian Missionary of the Consolata and Apostolic Prefect of Ulan Bator in Mongolia, the youngest cardinal in recent history, along with Karol Wojtyla, who also was created a cardinal at 47, during the consistory of June 26, 1967.

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Cardinal Giorgio Marengo at the consistory on Aug. 27, 2022. The Italian missionary is Apostolic Prefect of Ulan Bator in Mongolia. Daniel Ibáñez / CNA
Cardinal Giorgio Marengo at the consistory on Aug. 27, 2022. The Italian missionary is Apostolic Prefect of Ulan Bator in Mongolia. Daniel Ibáñez / CNA

Furthermore, Pope Francis appointed the following prelates over the age of 80, who are therefore excluded from attending a future conclave.

Cardinal Jorge Enrique Jiménez Carvajal, 80, Archbishop Emeritus of Cartagena (Colombia); Arrigo Miglio, 80, Archbishop Emeritus of Cagliari (Italy); Fr. Gianfranco Ghirlanda, a Jesuit and former rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, who extensively collaborated in the drafting of the  Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium; and Fortunato Frezza, 80, (Italy) currently a Canon at the Basilica of St. Peter, who collaborated for several years at the Secretariat General for the Synod of the Bishops.

Pope Francis had originally also nominated Ghent Bishop Luc Van Looy, 80, who later declined to accept the post because of criticism of his response to clergy abuse cases. (Catholic News Agency)

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Faith

70 per cent of pastors in Nigeria are poor — Cleric

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70 per cent of pastors in Nigeria are poor — Cleric
 •Pastor Gideon Odoma
In a striking revelation, Nigerian preacher Gideon Odoma has claimed that at least 70% of pastors in Nigeria live in poverty.

He highlighted that thousands of pastors receive monthly salaries of less than N60,000, challenging the widespread belief that pastoring is a lucrative profession in the country.

Odoma shared his observations on his official X page, emphasising that the public’s perception is skewed by the visibility of prominent Pentecostal pastors and denominations.

He expressed his frustration with this misconception, pointing out that the financial struggles of most pastors go unnoticed.

“At least, 70% of pastors in Nigeria are poor. And that’s me being conservative,” Odoma wrote.

He continued, “Many people think that the popular Pentecostal MoGs (Men of God) and denominations are representative of reality. No. They are not. Do you know how much pastors of QIC, EYN, ECWA, NKST, UEC, COCIN, etc., are paid monthly? You won’t believe it if I told you.”

“There are thousands, you heard right, thousands of pastors who are paid less than 60,000 Naira monthly.

“Sometimes, when a pastor is posted to a new station, the station renegotiates his salary downwards, like: “Sir, we know you’re on 60k, based on the church’s payment schedule, but our assembly is struggling financially, so what we can afford is 35k monthly.”

“I know a case where a pastor refused the reduced offer, and he was replaced by a more ‘understanding’ pastor, while he was told to go home, till there was a church open and willing to pay him his due rate. He ended up waiting a full year before he was posted again. Man had to return to his village for a year.

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“I happen to know something about how church denominations, the majority of them, operate. Most protestant churches in Nigeria are not Pentecostal, and even Pentecostalism (which has now become popular) does not pay huge salaries. Or tell, on average, what is the monthly salary of a senior Pastor in a Pentecostal church in Nigeria?

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“I am tired of hearing that “pastoring is a lucrative business in Nigeria.” Even as a generalization, it is not true, because the overwhelming majority of our pastors are poor.

“I could say more, but for now, I won’t… my phone battery is low, because a town hall different…”

SEE THE POST BELOW:

At least, 70% of pastors in Nigeria are poor. And, that’s me being conservative.

Many people think that the popular Pentecostal MoGs and denominations are representative of reality. No. They are not. Do you know how much pastors of QIC, EYN, ECWA, NKST, UEC, COCIN, etc, are paid…

—    Gideon Odoma (@gideonodoma) June 4, 2024

(Nigerian Tribune)

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Pastor Jerry Eze, NSPPD convener gifts his musicians and singers 6 brand new cars (VIDEO)

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Pastor Jerry Eze, the founder of Streams of Joy International Ministry and convener of NSPPD movement, has brought tears of joy to the eyes of some of his devoted church members.

The clergyman has sparked reactions online after gifting his singers 6 cars with many commending the gesture.

In a clip which surfaced online, six members of his worship team in the NSPPD movement were rewarded with new cars.

The cars were parked under a tree and their documents neatly kept in brown envelopes and placed on each of the cars.

The people who were gifted the automobile were so happy that they showed their appreciation.

The singers were seen shedding tears of joy after they were handed the keys to the brnad new cars in the church’s compound.

The action of Pastor Jerry Eze has attracted diverse reactions from social media users and Christians from different places.

Watch Video below:

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I remain Dunamis member – Vera Anyim speaks after meeting Pastors Paul, Becky Enenche

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I remain Dunamis member – Vera Anyim speaks after meeting Pastors Paul, Becky Enenche
Pastor Becky Enenche, Ms Veronica Anyim and Pastor Dr Paul Enenche

Veronica Anyim, the lady accused of lying after testifying about being a “BSc graduate of law” from the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN on Monday, met the Senior Pastor of Dunamis International Gospel Center, Dr Paul Enenche and his wife, Becky Enenche.

Anyim, who claimed during a Sunday live service that she graduated from NOUN after ten years of studying Law, was accused by Pastor Enenche of lying.

A video clip making the rounds on social media revealed how the senior pastor interrupted her testimony, saying she lied by claiming she had a BSc in law.

The Internet has been flooded with reactions from concerned Nigerians who asked the pastor to tender apology to Vera.

The church has since apologized, saying the development was not intentional.

Shortly after the apology emerged, Vera took to her Facebook page to share photos of herself, Pastor Enenche and his wife.

Vera said she has no grudges against the pastor and the church, stressing that she remains committed to “serving God as a member of Dunamis church”.

The post reads, “I want to inform the whole world that I just had a warm meeting with my spiritual father and mother dr Paul Enenche and dr Becky Enenche.

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“I don’t have any grudge against the church or them I remain committed to serving God as a member of Dunamis church.

“I am thankful for the concern of the public. I have put the situation at my back and I have moved forward and I want everybody to do the same. Peace.”

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SEE ALSO:  70 per cent of pastors in Nigeria are poor — Cleric
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