Cardinal-designate Archbishop Robert Prevost, O.S.A., prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops Cardinal-designate Archbishop Robert Prevost, O.S.A., prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops 

Cardinal-designate Prevost sees new role as a way to "walk together"

Cardinal-designate Robert Prevost, prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops, believes his future responsibility as a Cardinal will allow him to offer new ways to carry out his mission of service to the Lord and the Church.

By Linda Bordoni and Thaddeus Jones

Among the 21 new cardinals announced by Pope Francis at the Sunday Angelus of 9 July is Archbishop Robert Francis Prevost, O.S.A., Prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops. He will be created a cardinal on 30 September 2023 during the Vatican consistory, just on the eve of the Synod on Synodality that will open with Church leaders and experts from around the world. 

Archbishop Prevost is from Chicago, Illinois in the United States and a member of the Order of Saint Augustine (O.S.A). He served for a decade and a half in the O.S.A. missions in Peru, followed by teaching in the US, leadership roles as Prior General of the entire Order for two terms, and later as Bishop of the Diocese of Chiclayo, Peru. Pope Francis appointed him Prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops in 2023.

Reacting to Pope Francis' naming him a Cardinal, Archbishop Prevost expressed his "incredible surprise" in an interview with Vatican News the day after the announcement, while entrusting to the Lord this new responsibility and all it entails.

Recalling the words of Saint Pope Paul VI, he said that "being a cardinal is a mission of love with Christ, our Savior," and that "a cardinal is called to give his whole life in service to the Church." The colour red of a cardinal's vestments is associated with the blood of the martyrs, he notes, and this means great responsibility. He expressed his "great trust in the Lord" which has been strengthened in his many experiences living among the people of Peru, serving in different missions, and carrying out various leadership roles in his order and as a diocesan bishop. 

“I just pray to the Lord that I will be faithful in trying to fulfill what Pope Francis and the Church is now asking me.”

Cardinal-designated Prevost says it is not a coincidence that Pope Francis will hold the consistory for the creation of new cardinals right at the beginning of the first session of the Synod on Synodality, noting his firm conviction that "all of us are called to walk together." 

This requires us "to truly search for the will of God and the presence of the spirit listening to one another and carry on this mission of service and love that is so central to the very meaning of what Church is about."

“I hope to be able to be a faithful servant for what the Lord is asking of myself and of the Church.”

He adds in conclusion that he believes his role as a cardinal will allow him to promote a Church marked by "participation, communion and mission" as the Synod will discuss in October.

Listen to the interview with Cardinal-designate Robert Prevost, O.S.A.

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10 July 2023, 14:45