Catholics Celebrate Appointment of Haitian and Nicaraguan Cardinals


Bea L. Hines writes about how Central Americans and Haitians are celebrating the appointment of two cardinals representing their communities: Bishop Chibly Langlois of Les Cayes, Haiti, and Archbishop Leopoldo Jose Brenes of Managua, Nicaragua. [Also see previous post Rome’s nomination of first Haitian and first West Indian doubles number of Caribbean Cardinals.] Hines writes:

It’s a happy time for two of South Florida’s ethnic groups, and Archbishop Thomas Wenski of the Archdiocese of South Florida are leading the rejoicing over the recent appointments of two new cardinals.

The appointments of Bishop Chibly Langlois, 55, of Les Cayes, Haiti, and Archbishop Leopoldo Jose Brenes, 65, of Managua, Nicaragua, were announced on Jan. 12, by Pope Francis. The two, who have visited South Florida in the past, are among 19 new cardinals, who will receive their red hats at a consistory on Feb. 22 in the Vatican.

Langlois, who serves as president of the Haitian Bishop’s Conference, and who frequently visits South Florida, is the youngest of the new cardinals and the only one who is not an archbishop. His visits here is usually in conjunction with the meetings of the Partnership for the Reconstruction of the Church in Haiti, which is hosted by Wenski. Langlois also is the first-ever Haitian cardinal.

Wenski said the announcement coincided with the fourth anniversary of the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. He said “the appointment of Cardinal Langlois … will bring much needed attention to Haiti and the plight of its people, who still struggle to recover from the aftermath of the earthquake, as well as from the endemic poverty of the island nation of some nine million people.”

Brenes, only the second Nicaraguan to be named a cardinal. Wenski said, “In naming Brenes, the Pope wanted to recognize a church that is poor in material resources but rich in faith.”  Wenski also said, “With the naming of these new cardinals, the Pope continues his efforts on behalf of the poor.” He said Brenes is well known in the Nicaraguan community in Miami because he has visited here on various occasions. “I hope soon to have the opportunity to give him a warm welcome when he visits us in the future as a cardinal.”

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