Archivist and librarian of the Vatican, D. José Tolentino Mendonça received this afternoon at a ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica, the cardinal ring and cap, as well as the bull, becoming the sixth 21st century Portuguese Cardinal, the third Portuguese Cardinal Elector , who may also be elected Pope in a future conclave to choose the 82-year-old successor of Francis.
The investiture ceremony was attended by dozens of Portuguese, including the Minister of Justice, Francisca Van Dunem, representing the Portuguese Government, and the President of the Regional Government of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque.
The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, canceled the trip to Rome due to the death of the founder of the CDS, Freitas do Amaral, whose funeral took place today, the day of national mourning and the Portuguese Republic.
Before handing over his cardinal cap and ring, Pope Francis criticized the "habit of indifference" and asked the new cardinals for compassion, which he defined as "essential requirement".
"The willingness of a cardinal to give his own blood – meaning in the red color of his garment – is certain when it is rooted in this awareness of compassion and the capacity for compassion. Otherwise one cannot be loyal.", said Francisco.
"Many unfair behaviors of men of the Church depend on the lack of this feeling of compassion received and the habit of passing off, the habit of indifference.", also said the leader of the Catholic Church at the ceremony.
Along with D. José Tolentino Mendonça, 12 more cardinals were invested, three of them non-voters. On the list are Matteo Zuppi, Archbishop of Bologna, Italy, Community of Sant'Egídio, one of the four mediators of the 1992 peace agreement in Mozambique, and Jean-Claude Höllerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg, where 95,000 Portuguese reside. 15% of the country's population. For being over 80 years old, one of the non-electoral cardinals, is Eugenio Dal Corso, archbishop emeritus of Benguela, Angola.
A native of Machico, Madeira, the cardinal, poet and Bible scholar, entered the seminary at the age of 11. PhD in Biblical Theology and former Vice Rector of UCP, is a prominent name in contemporary Portuguese poetry, having already received several awards.
Bishop José Tolentino Mendonça joins the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, Bishop Manuel Clemente, and the bishop of the Diocese of Leiria-Fatima, Bishop António Marto, as cardinal voters – who may also be elected in a future conclave.
At the Cardinal College, whose mission is to support the Pope, are two other Portuguese who, because they are over 80, do not participate in the conclave, namely 81-year-old D. Monteiro de Castro, who was the Holy See's main penitentiary and had extensive diplomatic experience in the service of the Vatican, and 87-year-old D. Saraiva Martins was secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education and then prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He was created cardinal by John Paul II (1920-2005), on the same day as former Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon Jose Policarpo (1936-2014).
It is recalled that Portugal once had a Pope, John XXI, whose pontificate began in September 1276 and ended in May 1277. John XXI died following an accident in the Cathedral of Viterbo, Italy, whose works he accompanied. John XXI is buried in Viterbo Cathedral. Born in Lisbon, Pedro Julião or Pedro Hispano was designated in his time as a philosopher, theologian, scientist and doctor.