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Congratulations – Cardinal Roche!

At 3pm BST on Saturday, 27 August, Bishop Emeritus of Leeds, Archbishop Arthur Roche, was created a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church by Pope Francis in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

Bishop Marcus recently wrote that ‘his appointment is not only a recognition of the regard in which the Holy Father holds Archbishop Roche, but it also brings great honour to this diocese, his family home and to all the places where he has served both as a priest and a bishop’.

During the Ordinary Public Consistory, the Holy Father conferred on Archbishop Roche a red zucchetto and biretta, a gold ring (with the figures of Saints Peter and Paul in relief on the face, and beneath the face stamped in bas-relief, the coat of arms of the Supreme Pontiff Francis), and a Bull consigning the new Cardinal his titular Church of San Saba in Rome.

According to custom, as Cardinal Roche had been the first name on the Holy Father’s list of new appointments, he addressed the Pope on behalf of all the new Cardinals at the beginning of the ceremony, saying:

‘Our mission today is to help you carry this cross and not to increase its weight. With great joy, we wish to walk at your side knowing that to you have been entrusted the keys of the Kingdom … From you, Holy Father, we learn to resist the temptation of any narrowness of mind and heart which shrinks to the size of self instead of expanding to the measure of the fullness of Christ.’

Following the celebration, Pope Francis took the new Cardinals to visit Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI at his home in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican Gardens.

Cardinal Roche said he felt ‘very humbled’ by what he described as the ‘enormous responsibility’ of having a ‘broader remit’ for advising the Pope.

On Tuesday 30 August Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass with the new Cardinals and the College of Cardinals in St Peter’s Basilica. This begins at 5.30pm Rome time (4.30pm BST)

For the latest news about these events go to https://www.vaticannews.va/en.html where there is a link to the livestreams from St Peter’s Basilica.

The livestreams (and recordings of these ceremonies) can also be accessed via the Vatican Media Channel  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmczebaVDOY

We assure Cardinal Roche of our prayers for him and send him our very best wishes.