Among the new Cardinals named today by Pope Benedict XVI is Toronto’s Archbishop Thomas Collins. What a great honor for our new Cardinal designate, for the Church in Toronto, and for the Canadian Church! Archbishop Collins is no stranger to Salt + Light Television. He is a good shepherd and great friend to each of us.
Cardinals are chosen by the Holy Father to serve as his principal assistants and advisers in the central administration of church affairs. Collectively, they form the College of Cardinals. The word cardinal is derived from two early Latin terms, cardo and cardinis. For the past three hundred years, the English translation has rendered these two words as “hinge,” to signify that important device that serves as a juncture for two opposing forces and that affords harmony as a result. As a hinge permits a door to hang easily upon a framed portal, so too the cardinals, it was believed, facilitated an easy relationship between the theological and governmental roles of the hierarchy of the Church. The role of the College of Cardinals remains a pivotal one in the Church of our time.
The cardinals’ color red symbolizes the blood shed by martyrs and witnesses for the faith. Giving public, clear witness to the faith lies at the heart of each Cardinal’s mission. In the words of Pope Benedict XVI at a previous consistory of Cardinals: “The special communion and affection that bonds these new Cardinals to the Pope makes them his unique and precious cooperators in the lofty mandate to tend his sheep, which Christ entrusted to Peter in order to unite peoples with the solicitude of Christ's love. From this same love the Church was born,
called to live and to journey on in accordance with the Lord's commandment which sums up the whole of the law and the prophets. Being united with Christ in faith and in communion with him means being “rooted and grounded in love” (Eph 3:17), the fabric that unites all the members of Christ's Body.”
“Toronto the good” became “Toronto the better” because Archbishop Thomas Collins said yes to Benedict’s invitation to come from Edmonton to this great archdiocese of Toronto five years ago. Over the past five years, he has been for us shepherd, pastor, teacher, wise and prudent steward and leader, a man steeped in the Word of God because he lives in the house of that Word each day.
His support of Salt + Light Television and participation in many of our programs and interviews, particularly his televised Lectio Divina evenings from St. Michael’s Cathedral, are deeply appreciated.
All of us at Salt + Light Television join with the Archdiocese of Toronto and the entire Church in Canada as we rejoice and celebrate the fact that Pope Benedict XVI has named Archbishop Thomas Collins a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.
We wish Cardinal-designate Thomas Collins well and promise to pray for him. May the Lord bless him with good health, courage and peace of mind and heart as his responsibilities increase for the universal Church. May he never lose the common touch that has endeared him to so many people these past years, especially the young! Ad multos annos with us, Your Grace, Your Eminence-to-be!
Among the 22 new Cardinals is another great friend of Salt + Light, New York City's Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is also the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Congratulations to Cardinal-elect Dolan and the people of this great Archdiocese of New York.
To get to know Cardinal-designate Dolan better click to watch this Witness interview.
You can be sure that Salt + Light will be present in Rome to cover the great ceremonies of the Consistory on February 18 and 19, 2012.
Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB
CEO, Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation