Goa becomes cardinal after 465 years Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao elevated by Pope Francis

In a historic moment, Goa got a cardinal after 465 years. Pope Francis on Saturday elevated the Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Filipe Neri Antonio Sebastiao do Rosario Ferrao, to the rank of cardinal. He is only the sixth person of Goan descent to achieve the rank.

On Saturday, Pope Francis elevated 20 other clergymen to the rank of new cardinals during the consistory ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Archbishop Anthony Poola of Hyderabad was also elevated, bringing the total number of Indian cardinals to six.

Pope Francis reminded the cardinals of their mission, which he said includes “an openness to all peoples, to the horizons of the world, to the still unknown peripheries.”

Originally, the pope chose 21 new cardinals. But Belgian Bishop (retired) Luc Van Looy declined the honour, citing his own inadequate handling of the issues of sexually abusive priests while leading the diocese of Ghent from 2004 to 2020.

Who is Filipe Neri Antonio Sebastiao do Rosario Ferrao?

Cardinal Filipe Neri Antonio Sebastiao do Rosario Ferrao of Goa and Daman was born on January 20, 1953 in the village of Aldona in Panaji and has led the local church since 2003.

The 69-year-old had begun his religious studies at Our Lady of Saligao Seminary and then went to the Papal Seminary in Pune. He then graduated in philosophy and theology. He is fluent in Konkani, English, Italian, French, Portuguese and German.

Later, he was ordained a priest on October 28, 1979, after which on December 12, 2003, he was consecrated Archbishop of Goa and Daman by Pope John Paul II.

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