Making up the majority in the College of Cardinals, Pope Francis elevated the new cardinal priests during a consistory Monday.
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Although Bishop Maniago himself is in the shortlist to become the new prefect, many clues are pointing at Bishop Vittorio Francesco Viola of Tortona.
The cardinal recalled how many saints, visiting the basilica over the centuries, have “perpetuated this beautiful tradition” and that now it is no longer possible for priests to individually celebrate Masses on altars over the tombs of saints, leaving the altars as “mere works of art.”
Speaking with an Italian newspaper in his first comments since Pope Francis accepted his resignation, the African cardinal highlights the central importance of the liturgy and debunks claims of a rift with the Holy Father.
COMMENTARY: While the cardinal’s retirement concludes one of the most remarkable assignments of any Curial official, his contributions as a prophetic spiritual father will continue.
Cardinal Sarah said in a Tweet Feb. 20 that Pope Francis had accepted his resignation after his 75th birthday.
Cardinal Sarah’s letter made some concrete suggestions for the resumption of Mass amid the coronavirus pandemic, which is expected to continue to spread in the United States in the fall and winter months, with some models predicting a doubling of the death count by the end of 2020.
“Jesus cannot be treated like this,” says the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
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Cardinal Robert Sarah stressed that, despite whatever restrictions that might be in place, “nobody, absolutely nobody, can prevent you from turning to God and asking for his help at this time of great trial.”