Bishop Stephen Chow Sau-yan of Hong Kong said the Catholic Church “is getting richer” because of the appointment of “diverse voices” to the College of Cardinals.
“The important thing is to have more diverse voices, like you have the cardinal (Giorgio Marengo), from Mongolia, even though he’s Italian, but he speaks for the Mongolian Church. I think the Church is getting richer with different voices,” the prelate said in a Vatican News interview.
The bishop of Hong Kong is one of the 21 new cardinal-elect that Pope Francis has named in July. The consistory will be held Saturday morning at 10:00 am (08:00 GMT) in St. Peter’s Square.
Bishop Chow Sau-yan recognized the important role of the Catholic Church in Hong Kong as a “bridging church”. He said Hong Kong itself in history is a bridge between East and West.
“And so is the church, between the church in China and the universal Church. And we would like to see that come closer,” he said.
The prelate will be joining the two more bishops from China at the Synod that will open next week. He said the presence of Chinese bishops at the Synod is a positive development for Vatican-China relations.
In his 10 years of pontificate, Pope Francis has already created 121 cardinals from 66 countries at eight consistories. The last consistory to create new cardinals took place on Aug. 27, 2022.
Ten members of the College of Cardinals have turned 80 since the last consistory, thus losing their chance to participate in a future papal election. Seven more cardinals will turn 80 before the end of the year.
Immediately following the 2020 consistory, Pope Francis appointed 83 of the members of the College of Cardinals eligible to vote in a future conclave.
Benedict XVI had named 38 of the cardinal electors and John Paul II had appointed 11.
Ahead of the upcoming consistory, there are currently 121 cardinal electors, 81 (67%) of whom have been appointed by Pope Francis.