November 7, 2020
By Junno Arocho Esteves
[See also Vatican Priest Likens Criticism Over Abuse to Anti-Semitism, by Daniel J. Wakin and Rachel Donadio, New York Times, April 2, 2010.]
Rome – For Cardinal-designate Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household, his elevation to the cardinalate has little to do with his own merits and everything to do with God’s word.
“In my case, the roles of preacher and listener are reversed. It is actually the pope who silently preaches to me and to the whole church, finding time every Friday morning in Advent and Lent to go and listen to the meditation of a simple priest of the church.”
However, his role as preacher is not confined to the walls of the Eternal City. In 2019, he was sent by Pope Francis to lead the U.S. bishops in a spiritual retreat as they deliberated better ways to address the sexual abuse crisis.
Recalling that “particularly delicate moment,” Cantalamessa said that among the fruits he witnessed were the participation of about 250 U.S. bishops as well as their attentiveness to “the meditation and liturgical prayer and silent adoration of the Eucharist” during the retreat.
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