Pope Francis Anoints 20 Cardinals Who Could Elect Successor

 - Sakshi Post

Hyderabad: Archbishop of Hyderabad Poola Anthony became the first Telugu and Dalit person to be installed as a Cardinal by Pope Francis in the Vatican city of Rome. 

Anthony was elevated to the rank of Cardinal, at the consistory ceremony held at St Peter's Basilica on Saturday night in Vatican City and it was presided over by Pope Francis. The other Cardinal from India is Archbishop of Goa and Daman Filipe Neri Antonio Sebastao di Rosario Ferrao.

The Archdiocese of Hyderabad termed the elevation as a historic moment not only for Hyderabad but also to Telugu states and India. In a press release, the Archdiocese of Hyderabad said that Poola Anthony has now become one of the College of Cardinals of the Roman Pontiff who would guide him in various matters. 

“This is truly a proud moment for all of us. A delegation from Hyderabad consisting of bishops, priests, relatives of the Archbishop and faithful went to Rome to witness this celebration,” the release said.

It is to be noted that the College of Cardinals elect the Pope. The College of Cardinals currently consists of 229 Cardinals, of whom 131 will be electors. 

The installation of Anthony came three months after Pope Francis named him as one among the new Cardinals of the Catholic Church.  

During the consistory ceremony, Pope Francis inducted 20 cardinals from around the world who are now eligible to vote for his successor in case he dies or resigns. The newly inducted Cardinals come from Britain, South Korea, Spain, France, Nigeria, Brazil, India, the United States, East Timor, Italy, Ghana, Singapore, Paraguay, and Colombia.

Anthony was ordained as priest in February 1992 and appointed as Bishop of Kurnool in February 2008. He was appointed as Archbishop of Hyderabad in November 2020.  

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Sixty-year-old Anthony was born in Chindukur village of Kurnool district. He joined the minor seminary in Kurnool and then studied at St. Peter's Pontifical Major Seminary in Bengaluru. He served as chairman of Youth Commission, AP Social Service Society, SC/BC Commission, Secretary-general and Treasurer of Telugu Catholic Bishops Conference.

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