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Vatican Ambassador to TL congratulates Archbishop Virgilio in advance

Vatican Ambassador to TL congratulates Archbishop Virgilio in advance

PhotoTatoli/Francisco Sony

DILI, 22 august 2022 (TATOLI) – The Ambassador of the Holy See to Timor-Leste, Monsignor Marco Sprizzi extends his message of congratulations in advance to Timor-Leste’s Archbishop Virgílio do Carmo da Silva, who will take Oath, in the Vatican, on satruday (august 27) as Timor-Leste’s first Cardinal.

“The elevation of Archbishop Virgilio as cardinal is a sign of love and appreciation of Pope Francis for Timor-Leste, especially for the Church and the faithful people, the vast majority of whom are Catholic,” Sprizzi said after meeting Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak, in Farol, Dili, today.

He said the elevation of Archbishop Virgilio as cardinal is significant for Timor-Leste, especially for its democracy, peace, fraternity, and social harmony.

“Of course, as a cardinal, Archbishop Virgilio will be closer to the Pope among the Cardinals. This strengthens the communal relationship between the Church in Timor and the whole Church worldwide,” Sprizzi said.

Sprizzi informed that he was the first person to inform Archbishop Virgilio after being appointed by Pope Francis as a candidate for his cardinals.

“I was the one who informed Bishop Virgilio about the decision of the Holy Father for his elevation. And I met him many times, the last time was yesterday. Now I can publicly congratulate Archbishop Virgilio. He deserves it, he is a great pastor, he is humble, he is prepared to be closed to the people, and he has all the qualities to be a cardinal,” Sprizzi congratulated Archbishop Virgilio.

He said: “With Archbishop Virgilio, I congratulate the Church, the priests, the nuns, and the faithful Timorese people for this sign of maturity and beauty of the Church of Timor-Leste.”

Meanwhile, Archbishop Virgilio is today departed for the Vatican to attend the Cardinal Oath ceremony to take place on august 27, where, he will receive the red hat as the first Cardinal of Timor-Leste.

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.

Earlier this month, the President of the Republic, Jose Ramos Horta appointed Charismatic Leader Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão to attend the Cardinal Oath ceremony.

In addition, Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak also appointed 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.

The Vice President of the National Parliament, Luís Roberto da Silva, Vice President PN, Maria Angelina Sarmento, the First Secretary of PN, Lídia Norberta dos Santos, and Second Secretary of PN, Regina Freitas will also participate in the Cardinals Oath ceremony.

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.

Related News:https://en.tatoli.tl/2022/08/22/archbishop-of-dili-virgilio-do-carmo-da-silva-departed-for-vatican/11/

Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges 

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