VATICAN CITY — A Canadian priest who has worked closely with Pope Francis is among the 13 new cardinals added to the Catholic hierarchy on Saturday.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops says Cardinal Michael Czerny was born in the former Czechoslovakia in 1946 and came to Canada with his family at the age of two.
Czerny has worked since 2010 in the Vatican's justice office, where he helped draft Francis's major environmental encyclical.
In 2016, Francis made Czerny his personal point man on migrant issues, and the pectoral cross he sported Saturday showed he took the mission to heart as it was made of wood from a migrant ship.
Czerny is a Jesuit like the Pope, and went to El Salvador in 1989 after six Jesuit confreres were gunned down at Central American University.
For a South American Jesuit like Francis, the killings were an unfathomable assault that laid bare the order's social justice ethos — the same ethos that years later would inform his papacy.
Because Czerny is not yet 80, he'll be eligible to vote in a conclave, increasing the likelihood that a future pope might look a lot like the current one.
With Saturday's consistory, Francis will have named 52 per cent of the voting-age cardinals.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 5, 2019.