PANJIM: Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao was on Sunday named Cardinal by Pope Francis. He will be the first Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman to be elevated to the rank of a Cardinal.
In a statement signed by Fr. Barry Cardozo the Archdiocese said, “It is with great pride and Joy that we would like to inform you that Archbishop Filipe Neri António Sebastião di Rosário Ferrão - Archbishop of Goa and Damão (India) has been chosen by Pope Francis to be made a Cardinal. Archbishop of Goa and Daman is one of the 21 Bishops to be chosen to be made Cardinals. The Vatican News website states that Pope Francis will hold a Consistory on Saturday 27 August for the creation of new cardinals.”
It added, “As we, the Church of Goa and well-wishers, convey our heartfelt felicitations to the new Cardinal, we pray that God may guide and help him in the new responsibility that he has received at the service of the Universal Church, as a close collaborator of Pope Francis.”
Vatican News had reported that at the conclusion of the Regina Coeli on Sunday, Pope Francis said that on August 27, he will hold a Consistory for the creation of the 21 new cardinals he named on Sunday.
He also said that he will meet during the next two days - on Monday and Tuesday, 29-30 August - with all the cardinals to reflect on the new Apostolic Constitution Praedicate evangelium.
“On Saturday, 27 August, I will hold a Consistory for the creation of new Cardinals. Let us pray that they will help me in my mission as Bishop of Rome for the good of all God's people,” Vatican News quoted the Pope as saying.
It further reported that the College of Cardinals currently consists of 208 Cardinals, of whom 117 are electors and 91 non-electors. As of 27 August, the number will grow to 229 Cardinals, of whom 131 will be electors.
Eight of the newly named Cardinals are from Europe, six from Asia, two from Africa, one from North America, and four from Central and Latin America.
Archbishop Anthony Poola - Archbishop of Hyderabad is the other archbishop of India to be elevated as Cardinal.
Goans rejoice at elevation of Archbishop to Cardinal
Goans across the State responded with joy and happiness at the news of the elevation of Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao to Cardinal.
“For Goans it is a matter of great joy because it is recognition of the Church activities in Goa under the leadership of Archbishop Filip Neri Ferrao. As a leader of the Church in Goa, the Church has advanced very much and so it has been given as recognition for him and in turn for us,” Fr Aleixo Menezes, Rector, Rachol Seminary told Herald. n
Similarly, Fr. Victor Ferrao of the Borim Church said, “It is a moment of grace for the Church in Goa and day written in gold letters for all Goans as our very own Archbishop is elevated to the status and honour of a Cardinal in the Church. We rejoice and pray for spiritual gifts and graces for the Church Konkani dramatist, Agnelo (Borim) Fernandes said, “It's a proud moment. Legion of Mary rejoices in this elevation of Archbishop to Cardinal. We are blessed indeed to have a Cardinal known and very accessible to the people of God. We pray for God's abundant blessings on his Grace's new responsibilities and hope for the best.”
Konkani writer Tomazinho Cardozo said, “Honour of Cardinal to our own Archbishop means recognition to Goa and the Catholic community in the State. This is a proud moment for all us, especially for Goans. The honour will surely help our own Archbishop in enlightening the faithful with the word of God.”
For Goa Church, this is a day that will be inscribed in history, as Archbishop Ferrao is the first Archbishop of the Archdiocese to be elevated to Cardinal. “It is surely great news to the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman because our Archdiocese is one of the oldest in the east. Although he already has the title of Patriarch of East Indies, India, nevertheless this honourable title is not only a personal title to the archbishop but to the Church in Goa,” Fr Menezes said.
Fr Joaquim Loiola Pereira, Archbishop’s House Panjim said, it is a matter of great joy for the Archbishop of Goa and Daman Rt Rev Felipe Nery Ferrao to be elevated as a Cardinal by the Holy Father. This places a greater responsibility on his shoulders in serving the universal church as a close collaborator of the Pope. Let us pray to the Holy Spirit that He may help him in his new mission as Patriarch of East Indies and now he will be called the Patriarch of Goa.
Fr Walter D Sa, parish priest of Panjim church said, “I am so much happy because Filipe Neri Ferrao has been elevated to the rank of cardinal. In this way he will be able to serve better. It is proud moment for Goans since this is for the very first time in the history of church in Goa the Archbishop has been elevated to the rank of Cardinal. I'm delighted to hear this happy news since Filipe Neri Ferrao was my classmate. We joined together in Saligao seminary in 1963 and later we were together in Rachol Seminary. Having worked with him very closely and being associated with College first and thereafter being in Panjim Church as parish priest.
Similarly Fr Cipriano da Silva, Dean of Panjim Deanery and parish priest of St Michael Church, Taleigao church, said, “It is great joy to entire Church of Goa. This rank of Cardinal is real appreciation for the services ofArchbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao. Pope has appreciated his services and his selfless dedication. It is great joy to the entire Catholic community since this is the first time that after Fr Gracias who was born in Karachi but from Navelim, we have our very own cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrao from Aldona who is elevated to the rank of Cardinal. It is a sign of christian community about the services we have given to the universe. It's a proud moment for every Goan that out of all the Bishops in India two are chosen as the Cardinal, one of them being from the smallest State, Goa.
Fr Valerian Vaz, rector of Saligao seminary said, “I am happy that Filipe Neri Ferrao has been elevated to the rank of Cardinal. It's a joyous and proud moment for every Catholic Goan.
Congratulations and God bless Dear Rev Cardinal Felipe Nery Ferrao, son of our soil. Proud moment for Goans, specially Aldonkars and our ward Santarxette. May Our Good Lord Bless him abundantly and grant him good health to serve his flock said Ronaldo Victoria, Santarxette, Aldona.
Fr. Maverick Fernandes, Director, Caritas Goa said, “the elevation of Archbishop Felipe Neri Ferrao as Cardinal of the Catholic Church is a moment of grace and gratitude to God. Any responsibility in the Church is for service to God and His people. The qualities of heart and mind that he holds, as I have experienced, will assist him in the new challenges that go with the responsibility of being a Cardinal. My prayers are for his good health. May God bless him!
‘Joyous moment for various reasons’
Jason Keith Fernandes, a researcher at the Centre for Research in Anthropology, ISCTE, Lisbon, explains what this announcement means for the Church in Goa
“The nomination of Archbishop Patriarch Filipe Neri Ferrao is a joyous moment for various reasons. Canon law requires that those appointed as cardinals be “especially outstanding in doctrine, morals, piety, and prudence in action.” The nomination is, therefore, recognition of the Archbishop Patriarch’s personal qualities. Cardinals are more popularly understood as those entitled to vote in any future papal conclave, or indeed stand a greater chance of being elected to the Chair of St. Peter. However, cardinals are also called to assist the Pope collegially, on matters of grave importance, and in a personal capacity. Given that Pope Francis has a reputation of being very ‘personal’ in his appointments, we could well see the Patriarch being called to greater responsibilities by the Holy Father. It is a proud moment for Goa as well, since it is one more recognition of the centuries-long, strenuous effort of Goans in evangelizing large parts of the subcontinent, not to mention Asia and Africa. Finally, for those with a historical memory, this is also a welcome end to the bitter experiences of the conflict between the Propaganda Fide and the Padroado. We should be careful to not presume that this appointment will automatically translate into Goa being the traditional seat of a cardinal, but if this happens, it would be wonderful!"