Cardinal-designate Jose Advincula of Capiz. PHOTO FROM CAPIZ ARCHDIOCESAN YOUTH APOSTOLATE

By Roy Lagarde

Nov 12 2020

MANILA – The ongoing global pandemic has forced Cardinal-elect Jose Advincula of Capiz not to attend the consistory at the Vatican, his spokesman said Wednesday.

Fr. Emilio Arbatin, the archdiocese’s spokesperson, said the decision was made as Italy continues to see a rising trend in new Covid-19 cases in several regions.

Due to the situation, he said that Advincula was informed by the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila “that he has an option not to go to Rome for the consistory”.

In fact, he said that the 68-year-old archbishop had plane ticket reservation already “but had to cancel it”.

“The cardinal-designate would have really wanted to go, but this is an extraordinary time that also needs prudent judgment,” Arbatin said.

According to him, Pope Francis has already been informed about the cancellation of the trip through Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle.

Advincula is one of the 13 new cardinals to be elevated at a November 28 consistory at the Vatican.

Arbatin said that Cardinal-designate Cornelius Sim of Brunei has also cancelled his Rome trip.

Whether the other new cardinals will be able to attend the ceremonies physically given the pandemic is an open question.

But canon law states the men do not have to attend the ceremony to be made a cardinal. It also specifies that cardinals are created “by a decree” of the pope that is “made public in the presence of the College of Cardinals”.

A ceremony can instead be held in Capiz for the reception of “red hat” and the pope may appoint his representative.

“As of now, the cardinal-designate is still awaiting for the Vatican emcee Msgr. Guido Marini for the details and instructions on how to do the liturgy and ceremonies related to the giving of the red hat,” Arbatin said.

More than 30,000 new cases of Covid-19 infection have been recorded in Italy on Nov. 6, the highest one-day total on record for the country.

Covid-19 deaths in Italy has also surpassed 40,000, the highest in mainland Europe since the start of the pandemic. – CBPCNews