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Mali Finally Has Its Cardinal

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At the end of the prayer of Regina Coeli, this Sunday, May 21, 2017, Pope Francis announced the creation of five new cardinals. They will be raised to the purple cardinalice on June 28th, on the eve of the feast of Saints Peter and Paul on June 29th, during which the new cardinals will celebrate mass with Pope Francis and the new archbishops appointed during the past year.

Among the new cardinals, we find in good place the Archbishop of Bamako, Monsignor Jean Zerbo. He thus becomes the all-first Cardinal in the history of Mali and the 25th African cardinal. Born in 1943 in Ségou, Monsignor Jean Zerbo was ordained a priest in 1971 before leaving to study in France, four years later. As first Bishop of Bamako in 1988, he became titular Archbishop ten years later, in 1998 after the recall of the late Monsignor Luc Sangaré.

Very active in the Muslim-Christian dialogue and in national reconciliation, Monsignor Jean Zerbo played his part in the political-security crisis that our country has been experiencing since 2012.

The qualification of cardinal allows those who are honored to participate in the conclave, the meeting during which a new Pope is designated. The nomination of the five new cardinals responds to the wish of the Argentine Jorge Bergoglio, named pope under the name of François in April 2013, to tend towards a Church less centered on Europe and Italy.

“Let us entrust the new cardinals to the protection of the saints Peter and Paul, so that with the intercession of the Prince of the Apostles they may be genuine servants of the ecclesial communion …” exhorted Pope Francis.

The editorial team