The newest cardinals in the Church received their secondary assignments today from Pope Benedict XVI, indicating how he best thinks they can contribute to his ministry.
The new posts for the men, who were elevated to the rank of cardinal on Nov. 24, 2012 were announced in a Jan. 31 Vatican communiqué.
During the ceremony in which the Pope made them cardinals, he told them, “from now on, you will be even more closely and intimately linked to the See of Peter … .”
And this will particularly be the case, he said, in the work they do for the departments of the Roman Curia, the administrative offices that assist him in his ministry.
Each cardinal will continue to fulfill their normal duties in their respective places, but these roles will allow them to directly involved in helping the Pope.
Perhaps the cardinal whose profile was raised the most by today’s assignments was the Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai. He was named a member of the Congregation of Oriental Churches, the Church’s highest appeals court – the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura – the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
Cardinal James Michael Harvey, an American, received appointments to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, the organization that oversees the Vatican’s properties and financial investments.
The Nigerian cardinal, John O. Onaiyekan of Abuja, was appointed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and to the presidential committee of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, who leads the Syro-Malankar Catholic Archdiocese of Trivandrum, India, was named to the Congregation for Oriental Churches and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
Filipino Cardinal Lius Antonio Tagle of Manila was made a member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.
The final appointment the Pope made was to name Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez of Bogota, Colombia as part of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.