Consistory: remarks of Cardinal Mamberti
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis created 20 new Cardinals on Saturday. Speaking on behalf of the newly-created Cardinals, the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, Cardinal Dominique Mamberti, expressed gratitude, loyalty and generosity of spirit in service to the Church. Below, please find Vatican Radio’s English translation of Cardinal Mamberti’s remarks, originally delivered in Italian.
Address of Cardinal Dominique Mamberti
Along with our brother bishops who today become part of the College of Cardinals, I offer you respectful greetings together with our sentiments of sincere gratitude and filial devotion. Joining us in prayer is José de Jesùs Pimiento Rodriguez who has asked to be able to receive his red hat in Colombia as he cannot come to Rome for reasons of age.
In the letter your Holiness sent us the day you announced your decision to call us to the College of Cardinals, you reminded us first and foremost that we have been called to a new service which is that of “assisting, sustaining and being close to the person of the Pope, and for the good of the Church”. We are grateful for having chosen us from all over the world to share your ministry is a special way, recalling that every ecclesial vocation is, above all, one of service to our brothers and sisters and to the Church.
Through you, Holy Father, the Lord has renewed that call He once made to each of us, inviting us to follow Him and to give Him our lives in the priestly ministry. The colour purple itself reminds us that the Lord asks us to share His love for all people: a love which, in obedience to the Father, is offered by Him usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis (“unto death, even death on a cross”). If there is any honour which is being bestowed on us, it is that of encouraging us to unite ourselves more fully with Jesus, of participating more deeply and completely in His sacrifice, of being with Him on the Cross – which is our salvation, life and resurrection, and through which we are saved and liberated. In this profound identification with Christ lies the origin of the responsibility to which we are called and of the service that with humility, generosity et usque ad effusionem sanguinis (“even unto the shedding of our blood”) we want to offer for the salvation of souls and the good of the People of God.
Becoming part of the College of Cardinals places us in a special way in the life and history of the Church of Rome which, in the lovely expression of St Ignatius of Antioch, presides in love. But we are invited to move beyond ourselves, our habits and comfort zones, in order to serve the mission of this Church, aware that this means having broader horizons. The whole world is truly present here as the new Cardinals are expressions of all the continents. Belonging to the Church of Rome means serving the communion of the universal Church. This communion is constantly nourished by the love of Christ – that obliges us to live no longer for ourselves but for Him who dies and rose again for us – and is fertilized by the blood of many martyrs who gave their lives here. May their example and their intercession give us the strength and the courage necessary to be witnesses of the Risen Lord until the ends of the earth and to bend over the wounds and sores of humanity today, bringing His mercy.
“Behold, Lord, I come to do your will”. The service to the communion of the Church requires us to renew our promise to fulfil the Lord’s will, meaning that we be ready to follow Him with trust and in humility, as your Holiness has clearly shown us. Blessed shall be that servant who shows himself trustworthy in small things, who is not overcome by pride, nor goes in search of things that are bigger or greater than his strength.
In renewing our expression of gratitude, we wish to assure you of our loyal and sincere collaboration and of the certainty that you will find us close to you, ready to support you in the mission that Our Lord has given you – to guide the Church, and to confirm our brothers and sisters in the faith. We promise you our constant prayer, entrusting you and your ministry to the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary, to the discreet help of St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, and to the intercession of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, heavenly protectors of this our Church of Rome.