‘Thorns’ on head of new cardinal

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Friday, January 17, 2014


A PRIEST told me that the country's newest cardinal, Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, was exaggerating.

"While he won't be on a bed of roses, he also won't wear a crown of thorns."

He'll wear a scarlet "biretta" that reminds people he's one of the Pope's advisers and one of 120 who'll elect the next Pope.

As member of the College of Cardinals, he's a "prince" of the church. He'll have his own coat of arms, just like royalty. Catholics would kiss the gold ring the pope gives each cardinal.

Because of the pope's repeated reminder for a simple and austere life for bishops and priests, Cardinal Quevedo won't commute in a royal carriage, surely not a Pajero. (He was tagged among the seven "Pajero" bishops although he got from the government not a Pajero but a Toyota Grandia "for his religious missions.")

In referring to thorns, the cardinal must mean serving as spiritual leader of Mindanao that is plagued with continuing poverty and occasional lawlessness.

If he zealously tries to change the region's plight, he'd suffer indeed.

For the faith

Demands of his flock rise with the expectations of the Pope and Vatican curia. But then, as his red robe proclaims, he's ready to die for his faith.

Pope Francis said cardinalship doesn't imply promotion, honor or decoration. However the cardinals see it, it's all that -- but will involve sacrifice as well, if they heed the pope's example.

(paseares@sunstar.com.ph)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 17, 2014.

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