Rocco and others blogged on Pope Francis’ letter to cardinals-to-be-created. I liked this bit, as it applies equally well to parish ministers. To be honored to be named as a servant means a wider gaze and an open heart:
The cardinalship does not imply promotion; it is neither an honor nor a decoration; it is simply a service that requires you to broaden your gaze and open your hearts. And, although this may appear paradoxical, the ability to look further and to love more universally with greater intensity may be acquired only by following the same path of the Lord: the path of self-effacement and humility, taking on the role of a servant.
And who could refuse a request like this?
Therefore I ask you, please, to receive this designation with a simple and humble heart. And, while you must do so with pleasure and joy, ensure that this sentiment is far from any expression of worldliness or from any form of celebration contrary to the evangelical spirit of austerity, sobriety and poverty.
I like this trinity of qualities.
Is it a big deal that there are no ordinary parish priests (though we have a non-arch bishop) or lay people or women? I don’t think so.
Cardinals advise and they elect a pope. PrayTell mused on whether this crop of red is good for reform2 or not. I hope it doesn’t matter one way or the other, though I suspect it doesn’t bode well for fussy liturgy. More important to the Church is the discernment of good bishops–much better than what we’ve seen in the past 15 years.
The people who select the next pope will be refreshed by a batch of pastors and periphery-persons. Haiti and Burkina Faso? Brilliant.