By Vatican News staff writer
Pope Francis, during the Sunday Angelus on 25 October, announced the names of 13 new cardinals. Among them are Bishop Mario Grech, General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops and Bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Gozo in Malta.
The new Cardinals-designate will be raised to the rank of Cardinal at a consistory scheduled for 28 November 2020.
For Bishop Grech, like the other Cardinal-designates announced by Pope Francis, the news was unexpected. In an interview with Vatican News’ Antonella Palermo, soon-to-be Cardinal Grech said that he received the news around 12:20 pm that Sunday.
“It was a big surprise for me… I received the news from a friend of mine,” he said. “I was going through Via Giulia and the Chiesa dello Santo Spirito (the Church dedicated to the Holy Spirit) is in that area.”
He remembers that the first thing he did was to go into the Church for the devotion to the Divine Mercy. There, “I thanked the Lord for his mercy and I prayed that this new ministry may help me to be a minister of mercy to the world,” Bishop Grech told Vatican News.
Bishop Grech thinks that his new role coupled with his current assignment as the General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops will be an opportunity to further “the vision of the Holy Father.”
“The Holy Father believes in synodality and he wants to empower not only the Synod of Bishops which is celebrated periodically every two years, but also synodality in the Church,” said the 63-year-old Cardinal-designate.
“I pray the Almighty and I will try to commit myself to bring forth this concern, this truth, this new ecclesiology,” Bishop Grech added.
The Maltese-born bishop was ordained a priest in 1984. He was appointed Pro-Secretary of the Synod of Bishops in 2019 and subsequently its General Secretary in September 2020.