(OSV News) — On behalf of the bishops of the United States, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of Military Services, USA, and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, offered his congratulations and prayers July 9 upon Pope Francis’ announcement of the creation of 21 new cardinals.
Two of the archbishops — U.S.-born Archbishop Robert F. Prevost, who took the helm at the Dicastery for Bishops in April, and French Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States — have “deep ties” to the United States, the USCCB statement said.
“Please join me in praying for Cardinal-designate Prevost and Cardinal-designate Pierre as they continue their lives of service to the universal Church,” Archbishop Broglio said. “For the Church in the United States, their ministry has been a true blessing. Our episcopal conference rejoices in this sign of recognition of these distinguished Churchmen.”
The pope announced the names after his recitation of the Angelus with the faithful in St. Peter’s Square July 9. He said he would formally install the cardinals during a special consistory at the Vatican Sept. 30.
Cardinal-designate Prevost, 67, was born in Chicago, and had served as bishop of Chiclayo, Peru, for more than eight years before being appointed to lead the Vatican body responsible for recommending to the pope candidates to fill the office of bishop in many of the Latin-rite dioceses of the world. Recommendations made by the dicastery are typically approved by the pope. Archbishop Prevost has been a member of the dicastery since November 2020.
He also oversees the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, established in 1958 by Pope Pius XII to study the church in Latin America, where nearly 40% of the world’s Catholics reside.
The cardinal-designate holds degrees from Villanova University in Pennsylvania and the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and a doctorate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. An Augustinian friar, he joined the Augustinian mission in Peru in 1985 and largely worked in the country until in 1999, when he was elected head of the Augustinians’ Chicago-based province. From 2001 to 2013, he served as prior general of the worldwide order.
In 2014, Pope Francis named him bishop of Chiclayo, in northern Peru, and the pope asked him also to be apostolic administrator of Callao, Peru, from April 2020 to May 2021. The pope then appointed him to succeed the retiring Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet as prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops in early 2023.
Cardinal-designate Pierre, 77, was born in Rennes, France. Ordained to the priesthood in 1970, he served as apostolic nuncio to Haiti, Uganda and Mexico until Pope Francis named him nuncio to the United States in 2016.
In total, the new cardinals represent more than a dozen countries on five continents. Three of the new cardinals are current Vatican officials, three are current or retired apostolic nuncios, 13 are current or retired heads of archdioceses around the world, one is a rector major of the Salesians and one is a 96-year-old confessor in Buenos Aires. Six belong to religious orders; two of them are Jesuits.
Continuing a papal custom, among the new cardinals were three churchmen — two archbishops and a Capuchin Franciscan priest — over the age of 80, whom Pope Francis said he wanted to honor because they were particularly deserving due to “their service to the church.” Being over the age of 80, they are ineligible to vote in a conclave.
The last consistory took place Aug. 27, 2022, when Pope Francis elevated 20 new cardinals, including Cardinal Robert W. McElroy of San Diego.
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Carol Glatz, writing for Catholic News Service in Rome, contributed to this report.