Govt delegates Ministers Magalhães and Lucas to attend Cardinals Oath in Vatican

Govt delegates Ministers Magalhães and Lucas to attend Cardinals Oath in Vatican

Timor-Leste's Foreign Affairs Minister, Adaljiza Magno (Photo Tatoli/Egas Cristovao)

DILI, 12 august 2022 (TATOLI) – The Government of Timor-Leste has delegated the Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães, and the Minister of Tourism, Trade and Industry, José Lucas do Carmo da Silva to attend the Cardinals Oath in the Vatican, which the current Archbishop of Dili, Virgílio do Carmo da Silva, will take oath as the first Cardinal of Timor-Leste.

The elevation ceremony of the first Timorese Cardinal and the other new Cardinals will take place on august 27.

Pope Francis named in his announcement on may 29, the 21 new cardinals, including Virgílio do Carmo da Silva of the Archdiocese of Dili, Timor-Leste.

Archbishop of Dili, Virgílio do Carmo da Silva will depart for the Vatican on august 22 to receive the red hat on august 27. He is one of six new cardinals from Asia — five archbishops and one bishop.

Cardinals are members of the College of Cardinals, an advisory body to the Pope, whose duty is to assist him in the governance of the Catholic Church.

“Prime Minister has appointed the two ministers to attend the Cardinals Oath at the Papal Consistory in the Vatican,” Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Adaljiza Magno told  TATOLI at East Timor Development Agency (ETDA), in Dili.

In addition, the Vice President of the National Parliament, Luís Roberto da Silva said four MPs had also been appointed to attend Papal Consistory.

“Here are the MPs who will be participating in the Cardinals Oath ceremony: Vice President PN, Maria Angelina Sarmento, the First Secretary of PN, Lídia Norberta dos Santos, Second Secretary of PN, Regina Freitas, and myself,” he said.

His Most Reverend Excellency Archbishop Virgílio do Carmo da Silva, son of José do Carmo and Isabel da Silva was born in Venilale on November 27th, 1968. He made his aspirancy, pre-Seminary, in Fatumaca in 1983. He entered the novitiate, also in Fatumaca, in the year 1989-1990. He took his first vows on May 31st, 1990. He did his philosophical studies and theology in the Philippines, in Canlubang and Parañaque, respectively. He took his final vows on March 19th, 1997. He received his sacerdotal ordination in Parañaque, in the Philippines, on December 18th, 1998. He was then assigned to the Salesian house in Venilale as bursar and vicar. In 2005, he was sent to Rome where he studied Spiritual Theology at the Salesian Pontifical University. Upon his return to Timor-Leste, he was appointed Master of Novices and Director of Fatumaca House, positions he held from 2008 until January 2014, when he took over as Provincial Superior.

On March 19th, 2016, His Most Reverend Excellency Archbishop Virgílio do Carmo da Silva was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Dili and on September 11th, 2019 he was appointed the first Archbishop of Dili

The prelates to take oath on august 27 are:

  • Archbishop Jean-Marc Aveline, of Marseille (France).
  • Archbishop Peter Okpaleke, of Ekwulobia (Nigeria).
  • Archbishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, of Manaus (Brazil).
  • Archbishop Filipe Neri António Sebastião of Rosário Ferrão, of Goa e Damão (India).
  • Bishop Robert Walter McElroy, of San Diego (U.S.A.).
  • Archbishop Virgilio Do Carmo Da Silva, of Dili (East Timor).
  • Bishop Oscar Cantoni, of Como (Italy).
  • Archbishop Anthony Poola, of Hyderabad (India).
  • Archbishop Paulo Cezar Costa,, of Brasília (Brazil).
  • Bishop Richard Kuuia Baawobr M. Afr, of Wa (Ghana).
  • Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye, of Singapore (Singapore).
  • Archbishop Adalberto Martínez Flores, of Asunción (Paraguay).
  • Archbishop Giorgio Marengo, Prefect of Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia).

The five who are over the age of 80 are:

  • Archbishop Jorge Enrique Jiménez Carvajal – Archbishop Emeritus of Cartagena (Colombia).
  • Archbishop Lucas Van Looy sdb – Archbishop Emeritus of Ghent (Belgium).
  • Archbishop Arrigo Miglio – Archbishop Emeritus of Cagliari (Italy).
  • Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda sj. – Professor of Theology.
  • Monsignor Fortunato Frezza, canon of St. Peter’s.


Journalist: Osória Marques

Editor: Cancio Xiemenes/ Nelia Borges

Translation: Filomeno Martins


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