Mongolia cardinal symbol of mission Church

Mongolia new cardinal

Catholic missionaries in Mongolia have expressed their joy over the appointment of Italian Bishop Giorgio Marengo as a new cardinal.

“I am surprised and amazed by an unexpected moment of grace, Cardinal-elect Marengo said.

“I believe that the pope’s gesture was a missionary gesture, to express attention and care to a small community and to all the small communities of faithful scattered throughout the world, in those lands where they are a small flock.”

The Consolata missionary, who has been leading the Mongolian Church since 2 April 2020, turns 48 in June.

Marengo’s elevation to cardinal makes him the youngest member of the Church’s prestigious College of Cardinals.

Sister Tireza Gabriel Usamo, an Ethiopian Consolata nun serving in Mongolia since 2018, said she was surprised by the appointment.

“He is a gift for the Mongolian Catholic Church.

“Since becoming a bishop two years ago, he has played an important role in strengthening the church as its leader. He has made good attempts to improve relationship with the government and to promote inter-religious dialogue,” Sister Usamo told UCA News.

The religious sister pointed out that, as part of his efforts to promote harmony, Bishop Marengo recently visited the pope in Rome with a delegation of Catholics and Buddhists.

“When I heard it first, I said ‘whoo!’ What does it mean for the Church of Mongolia to have a cardinal? What is God’s will? What does the pope want for this church?” Father Tin Nguyen told UCA News.

The Vietnamese priest said this appointment brings immense joy for the tiny church as it prepares to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its revival.

He said the church in the “land of Genghis Khan” is small with about 1,400 Christians in eight parishes. The church has a very vibrant life thanks to the services of 66 foreign missionaries (25 priests, 34 nuns, three brothers and three lay missionaries) from 26 countries and only two native Mongolian priests.

Father Nguyen said he loves Pope Francis’ vision of “not leaving anyone behind.”

“Even though our church is small, he recognises it, and he wants to hear from us, from everyone afar. He gives us a chair at the table to sit beside him, to be with him closer and to assist him to govern the universal Church. This is wonderful for the little flock here.”

“Missionaries face many difficulties. They are not looking for honour or respect, but they do not have real peace, happiness and freedom to work. The government is so demanding, controlling, checking and taxing. Our voice, our presence is not seen or heard,” he explained.

Pope Francis named 21 new cardinals on May 29.

The new cardinals will receive their red hats at the next consistory in the Vatican on August 27. Marengo is one of six new cardinals from Asia.


UCA News

Agenzia Fides


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