Pope Francis Elevates the First African-American Cardinal

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    Pope Francis raised 13 new cardinals to the highest rank in the Catholic hierarchy Saturday and immediately warned them not to use their titles for corrupt, personal gain, presiding over a ceremony marked from beginning to end by the coronavirus pandemic. Two new “princes” of the church, from Brunei and the Philippines, didn’t make it to Rome because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, though they were shown on giant screens watching it from home in the nearly empty St. Peter’s Basilica. Throughout the socially distanced ceremony, which clocked in at an unusually quick 45 minutes, cardinals new and old wore protective masks. Most removed their masks when they approached a maskless Francis to receive their red hats, but Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the first African-American cardinal, kept his on. Gregory also was one of the only new cardinals who kept his mask on when the group paid a singing courtesy visit to retired Pope Benedict XVI. During his homily, Francis warned the new cardinals against falling into corruption or using their new rank for personal advancement, saying that just because they have a new title, “Eminence,” doesn’t mean they should drift from their people. His comments reflected Francis’ constant complaint about the arrogance of the clerical class, as well as his current battles to fight corruption in the Vatican hierarchy. “Let’s think of so many types of corruption in the life of the priesthood,” Francis told the new cardinals, deviating from his prepared text. If they think of themselves so grandly, “you won’t be pastors close to the people, you’ll just be ‘Eminence.’ And if you feel this way, you’ll have strayed off the road,” the pope warned. The ceremony, known as a consistory, is the seventh of Francis’ pontificate and once again reflected the Argentine pope’s effort to name cardinals from places that have never had them before or whose service to the church he wants to highlight. Nine are under age 80 and eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope, further solidifying the majority of Francis-appointed, voting-age prelates in the College of Cardinals. Gregory, the new archbishop of Washington, told The Associated Press ahead of the ceremony that he viewed his appointment as “an affirmation of Black Catholics in the United States, the heritage of faith and fidelity that we represent.” Gregory’s appointment comes after a year of racial protests in the U.S. sparked by the latest killing of a Black man by a white police officer. Francis has endorsed the protests and cited the American history of racial injustices. “There is awareness now of the need for racial reconciliation, an awareness that I have not seen at this level and at this intensity before,” Gregory said. Another social justice-minded cardinal is the retired archbishop of Chiapas, Mexico, Cardinal Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, who has championed the rights of Mexico’s indigenous peoples and spearheaded efforts to translate the Bible and liturgical texts into native languages. Francis visited Chiapas in 2016 and has long championed the rights of indigenous peoples. “That could be one of the reasons (he made me a cardinal) but I can’t confirm it,” Esquivel said during a Zoom call. The Vatican’s in-house theologian-preacher, Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa, also got a red hat, but he successfully argued against being made a bishop as well, saying at his age – 86 – he couldn’t take on the responsibility. He also eschewed a red cassock for Saturday’s ceremony, using instead his brown hooded friar’s robes covered with a white “rochet” vestment. After the ceremony, Francis and the new cardinals paid a visit to Benedict, who lives across the Vatican gardens in a converted monastery. Francis, again sans mask, greeted his predecessor warmly. The cardinals greeted Benedict, kissed his hand and sang a prayer as the retired pope, who is 93 and frail, listened. Only Gregory and one other new cardinal kept his mask on during the encounter. Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2TwO8Gm Bloomberg Quicktake brings you live global news and original shows spanning business, technology, politics and culture. Make sense of the stories changing your business and your world. To watch complete coverage on Bloomberg Quicktake 24/7, visit http://www.bloomberg.com/qt/live, or watch on Apple TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Fire TV and Android TV on the Bloomberg app. Have a story to tell? Fill out this survey for a chance to have it featured on Bloomberg Quicktake: https://cor.us/surveys/27AF30 Connect with us on… YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Bloomberg Breaking News on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BloombergQuickTakeNews Twitter: https://twitter.com/quicktake Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/quicktake Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/quicktake

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    In This Story: Brunei

    Brunei, officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace, is a country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea, the country is completely surrounded by the insular Malaysian state of Sarawak.

    It is separated into two parts by the Sarawak district of Limbang. Brunei is the only sovereign state completely on the island of Borneo; the remainder of the island’s territory is divided between the nations of Malaysia and Indonesia. Brunei’s population was 428,963 in 2018.

    The government is an absolute monarchy under the Sultan, which implements a combination of English common law and sharia law, as well as direct general Islamic practices.

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    Mexico is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is the most populous Spanish-speaking nation. Mexico City is its capital city and largest metropolis.

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