Quebecer named cardinal
VATICAN—Quebec Archbishop Gerald Cyprien Lacroix was among a new batch of cardinals selected by Pope Francis yesterday, joining an elite group near the top of the Catholic Church hierarchy.
A total of 19 men were named to the senior ecclesiastical post in an announcement at the Vatican.
“I’m touched by the confidence shown by Pope Francis,” Lacroix told reporters following Sunday mass in Quebec City.
“I’m very happy to continue to serve the church with him.”
Lacroix and the other new cardinals, known as the “princes of the Church,” will be formally installed at a ceremony Feb. 22 at the Vatican.
The native of Saint-Hilaire de Dorset, a small town 300 km east of Montreal, was named Quebec’s archbishop in 2011.
The 56-year-old worked for more than a decade in Colombia after being ordained as a priest in 1988.
At a time of dwindling church attendance, Montreal Archbishop Christian Lepine said the appointment represents something hopeful for the Church.
Lepine said Lacroix, like other cardinals, will have an important role at the highest level of the Catholic Church.
Traditionally, cardinals “have always been very close to the pope. This is still true today,” Lepine said yesterday.
The cardinals chosen by Pope Francis come from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and elsewhere, in line with his belief that the church must pay more attention to the poor.
Lacroix is only a year older than the youngest new cardinal. Monsignor Chibly Langlois from Haiti is 55.
Canada now has three cardinals, with Lacroix joining Jean-Claude Turcotte of Montreal and Thomas Collins of Toronto.