Cardinal-elect Agostino Marchetto Cardinal-elect Agostino Marchetto  (Medol)

Cardinal-elect Marchetto at the service of migrants and refugees

Cardinal-elect Agostino Marchetto has worn many hats during decades of service to the Church and to the Holy See. In an interview with Vatican Radio, he expresses his view that Pope Francis has chosen to give him the red hat thanks, above all, to years of service at the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

By Fabio Colagrande and Linda Bordoni

Pope Francis announced this past Sunday the names of 21 prelates who will be created Cardinals in a consistory at the end of September.

Amongst them is 83-year-old Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, a lifelong Holy See diplomat, analyst of the Second Vatican Council and Secretary Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

Cardinal-designate Marchetto told Vatican Radio he thinks that by nominating him, the Pope has wanted to highlight the Church’s care for and closeness to vulnerable people on the move.

Listen to Cardinal-elect Agostino Marchetto

One of Pope Francis’ prime concerns is for migrants and refugees, Archbishop Marchetto, said noting that they are often treated “in a very, very bad way when they are fleeing places of suffering.”

This appointment perhaps, is to help people understand that this is a very important issue, he added, describing the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples as one of the great successes of the last century.

We must consider men and women, not only when they are not on the move,  the Archbishop said, noting that migration is the defining issue of our time due to a number of reasons, so the Church, he reiterated, must accompany those on the move.

"This is a fundamental issue that we must try to solve as soon as possible otherwise we will face some very difficult questions.," he said.

In particular, he noted, climate refugees are destined to increase in number, so it is crucial that rules, regulations and policies must be put into place in order to be able to welcome them with a fraternal attitude.

Second Vatican Council and Synod

The other issue the Cardinal-elect chose to focus on regards the need to carry on studying and interpreting the Second Vatican Council, which he said, has been a bit of a “leitmotif of my entire life."

"In particular the relationship between the papacy and the episcopate and the evolution of the theme of papal primacy and collegiality from the first millennium to the Council," he explained.

The ongoing synodal journey, the Cardinal-designate said, underscores the continuity that exists within the Church, a Church that notwithstanding legitimate evolution is a witness to Jesus, to the Gospel to the Magisterium.

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14 July 2023, 17:57