Pope Francis announces five new cardinals, including first from Mali | World news

Pope Francis gave the Catholic church five new cardinals Wednesday, sombrery instructing them to act as servants and not “princes” in a world where innocents are dying from wars and terrorism, slavery persists and refugee camps often are living hells.

Reflecting Francis’ attention to the poor, three of the five cardinals hail from developing nations and regions: Bishop Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun of Laos; Bamako Archbishop Jean Zerbo of Mali; and Monsignor Gregorio Rosa Chavez, who continued working as a parish priest while serving as San Salvador’s auxiliary bishop.

The other two elevated churchmen are Barcelona Archbishop Juan Jose Omella, who early in his clerical career worked as a missionary in Zaire; and Stockholm Bishop Anders Arborelius. The Swedish prelate last year welcomed Francis to his country, where Lutherans are the majority Christian group.

Cardinals are often referred to as “princes of the church,” a reflection of their prestigious roles of advising the pope and electing his successor, as well as their often-ornate residences.

But Francis in his homily told the five new cardinals that Jesus “has not called you to become ‘princes’ in the Church,” but instead chose them to serve God and people.

Some media had speculated that Zerbo, Mali’s first-ever cardinal, would not show up for the ceremony or even be made cardinal after European news media recently reported that he was one three Mali prelates who had multi-million euro Swiss bank-accounts.

If Francis was upset by the reports, it did not show when he placed the prestigious red biretta, the square, three-ridged hat cardinals wear, on Zerbo’s head.
As he did with the other four cardinals, Francis gave the African prelate a fraternal embrace and said a few words to him.

Francis, an Argentine and the first Jesuit pope, told his newest cardinals to be focused on the suffering in the world.

“The reality is the innocent who suffer and die as victims of wars and terrorism; the forms of enslavement that continue to violate human dignity even in the age of human rights,” he said.

The pope also spoke of refugee camps “which at times seem more like a hell than a purgatory,” and decried what he called “the systematic discarding of all that is no longer useful, people included.”

Chavez, who heads the Latin American division of Caritas, a Catholic charity, had worked closely with Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, who while celebrating mass was shot dead in 1980 by a right-wing death squad during El Salvador’s civil war.

Zerbo has worked for reconciliation in Mali, an impoverished country bloodied by Islamist extremism and where Muslims constitute the predominant religious majority. “There is such violence in the world, what we need is brotherhood,” Zerbo said as well-wishers waited to greet him after the ceremony.

But as the cardinal-making ceremony neared, his reputation as a peacemaker was overshadowed by news reports that 12 million euros ($13.5 million) were held in Swiss bank accounts in the names of Zerbo and two other top-ranking Catholic churchman from Mali.

Vatican officials have said it is common for bishops working in unstable countries to deposit church funds in either the Vatican or European banks.

Francis accompanied his five new cardinals to the monastery on Vatican grounds where his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who retired in 2013, lives. “We were happy to meet” with Benedict, said the new cardinal from Laos.

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Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition showcases the world | Art and design

This year’s Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy will centre on diversity, moving the focus away from familiar European artists and instead “open our doors to the world”.

The 2017 edition of the Summer Exhibition, which next year celebrates its 250th anniversary and is still the world’s largest open-submission art exhibition, was curated by painter and printmaker Eileen Cooper.

Cooper, known best for her colourful, stylised paintings of women, had her first work selected for the Summer Exhibition as a student in the 1970s. She said she wanted to display artists who have never come close to the Royal Academy in the past.

“We couldn’t think of one slogan to sum it up, which is a real drawback,” Cooper recently told the Financial Times. “Our aim is to bring something fresh to the show by finding emerging talent and recruiting more artists from countries as disparate as [the Democratic Republic of the] Congo, Peru, Spain and India, as well as Turkey and Kurdistan.”

She added: “I don’t want to focus on personal politics but we have deliberately looked further afield from the home nations. This year we have an exhibition that’s very rich in terms of geography – we’ve tried to open our doors to the world.”

Entering the Royal Academy’s imposing courtyard, visitors are greeted by Windsculpture VI, a colourful fibreglass sculpture by the Nigerian-British artist Yinka Shonibare, who was also on the selection panel. Cooper described it as a wonderful work, “exploring the notion of harnessing motion and freezing it in a moment of time”.

Untitled (Violin) by Sir Michael Craig-Martin

Untitled (Violin) by Sir Michael Craig-Martin Photograph: Smiejkowska/Rex/Shutterstock

This year there were 12,000 digital entries, which were narrowed down by the committee to the 1,200 works now hanging in the show. A neon sign of the words “And I said I Love You!” by Tracey Emin, a vast painting by Sean Scully, suspended silver jugs by Cornelia Parker and other pieces by Wolfgang Tillmans, Anish Kapoor and Phyllida Barlow stand alongside amateur artworks by members of the public that made the selection panel’s cut.

In a first for the exhibition, this year will have a performance piece – by Alana Francis – as part of the selection. It will take place on Friday nights in the gallery, involving intimate one-to-one spoken word pieces to individuals.

The show also includes includes three film-makers, with an entire room dedicated to Isaac Julien’s work Western Union: Small Boats, which deals with the subject of refugees travelling across the Atlantic, as well as a new photography series by provocateurs Gilbert and George.

Next year the summer exhibition will celebrate its 250th anniversary. Despite drawing in an annual 200,000 visitors, it has often been scorned by critics, particularly for its inclusion of works by members of the public alongside the RA academicians. All the work in the show is for sale, with the proceeds going towards the RA schools programme. In the 1800s the Morning Post described it as a “parade of the hackneyed and incompetent amongst the little dirty paltry aristocracy of the Royal Academy”.

Cooper, however, said the all-inclusive nature of the show should be embraced. “I believe in the Summer Exhibition,” she told the Financial Times. “I think it is churlish to be negative about something that supports the next generation.”
The Summer Exhibition is at the Royal Academy, London W1J, 13 June – 20 August.

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