Cardinal nomination is “homage to Portuguese youth

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Bishop Américo Aguiar, who will be created cardinal by Pope Francis on September 30, said today that his appointment “is a tribute to Portuguese youth” and admitted he was surprised by the news.

“I think it’s a tribute to Portuguese youth,” the auxiliary bishop of Lisbon said in statements to journalists at the Setubal Logistics Warehouse, where volunteers are preparing for World Youth Day (WYD), which will take place in Lisbon and Loures in the first week of August.

Pope Francis announced today, at the Vatican, that he will appoint 21 new cardinals, in the consistory of September 30, including Bishop Américo Aguiar, the only Portuguese.

“I read [the decision] as a gesture of Pope Francis in relation to young people and to what he tells us insistently, of young people standing up and taking the lead in their lives. […] We are merely intermediaries who will help to encourage this even more among young people,” said Américo Aguiar, who is also the head of the Portuguese Church in charge of organizing WYD.

The auxiliary bishop of Lisbon admitted he was surprised by the news, considering that the position of cardinal represents an added responsibility and that the Pope’s decision had nothing to do with his competencies, but rather with the dedication of the young people involved in the preparation and realization of WYD.

“Nobody dreams of being a cardinal, I guess, only if they have no sense,” Américo Aguiar pointed out, with humor.

The future cardinals are of various nationalities and include the prefects of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, the Dicastery for Bishops, Robert Francis Prevost, and the Dicastery for the Oriental Churches, Claudio Gugerotti.

The Pope also appointed Bishop Stephen Chriw Sau-yan of Hong Kong and the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Monsignor Pierbattista Pizzaballa.

Of the list of 21 names, three will be over 80 years old at the time of their creation as cardinal.

“Let us pray for the new cardinals, that by confirming their adherence to Christ, merciful and faithful high priest, they may help me in my ministry as bishop of Rome for the good of all God’s holy faithful people,” the Pope said, quoted by the Italian ANSA news agency.

Américo Aguiar, who is in charge of the Portuguese Church for the World Youth Day, in Lisbon and Loures, in the first week of August, will become the 48th Portuguese cardinal, according to Ecclesia.

Currently Auxiliary Bishop of Lisbon, Américo Aguiar, 49, is from Leça do Balio, Matosinhos, and was parish priest of São Pero de Azevedo (Campanhã) between 2001 and 2002, notary at the Diocesan Curia of Porto between 2001 and 2004, Head of the Office of Information and Communication of the Diocese of Porto between 2002 and 2015, Vicar General and Head of the Office of Bishops Armindo Lopes Coelho, Manuel Clemente and António Francisco dos Santos, and served as Chief Chaplain of the Misericórdia of Porto.

He was also parish priest of the Cathedral between 2014 and 2015 and was appointed canon of the Oporto Cathedral Chapter in 2017.

Since 2011, Américo Aguiar has presided over the direction of the Irmandade dos Clérigos and, in 2016, he assumed the presidency of the Management Council of the Renascença Multimédia Group, as well as being the director of the National Secretariat of Social Communications, an organism of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference.

Costa considers that bishop Américo Aguiar’s nomination for cardinal “gives prestige to Portugal

The prime minister today congratulated with “enormous satisfaction” the auxiliary bishop of Lisbon, Américo Aguiar, for his nomination as cardinal, considering that Pope Francis’ choice “brings great prestige to Portugal.

“A choice that recognizes the auxiliary bishop of Lisbon as a unique figure in the Catholic Church and that gives great prestige to Portugal. A few days before World Youth Day, to which D. Américo Aguiar has dedicated so much effort and commitment, this announcement by Pope Francis fills us with joy,” reads António Costa’s message posted on the social network Twitter.

According to a post by Vatican News on the social network Twitter, Pope Francis announced today, after the recitation of the Angelus prayer, a consistory on September 30, the day before the start of the next Synodal Assembly, for the creation of 21 new cardinals, including Bishop Américo Aguiar, the only Portuguese in the group.

In reaction, Américo Aguiar considered that his nomination “is a tribute to Portuguese youth” and admitted to being surprised by the news.

“I read [the decision] as a gesture of Pope Francis in relation to young people and to what he tells us insistently, of young people rising up and taking the leading role in their lives. […] We are merely intermediaries who will help to encourage this even more among young people,” said Américo Aguiar.

Américo Aguiar, who is in charge of the Portuguese Church for the World Youth Day, in Lisbon and Loures, in the first week of August, will become the 48th Portuguese cardinal, according to Ecclesia news agency.

Currently Auxiliary Bishop of Lisbon, Américo Aguiar, 49, is from Leça do Balio, Matosinhos, and was parish priest of São Pero de Azevedo (Campanhã) between 2001 and 2002, notary at the Diocesan Curia of Porto between 2001 and 2004, Head of the Information and Communication Office of the Diocese of Porto between 2002 and 2015, Vicar General and Head of the Office of Bishops Armindo Lopes Coelho, Manuel Clemente and António Francisco dos Santos, and was the Major Chaplain of the Misericórdia of Porto.

He was also parish priest of the Cathedral between 2014 and 2015 and was appointed canon of the Oporto Cathedral Chapter in 2017.

Since 2011, Américo Aguiar has presided over the direction of the Irmandade dos Clérigos and, in 2016, he assumed the presidency of the Management Council of the Renascença Multimédia Group, as well as being the director of the National Secretariat of Social Communications, an organism of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference.

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