Pope to new cardinals: No flashing parties - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Pope to new cardinals: No flashing parties

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 Pope Francis is warning his new cardinals to keep the partying to a minimum -- and keep their egos in check -- when they are formally elevated at a Vatican ceremony next month.

   In a letter written to the 20 new princes of the church published Friday in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Francis warned the cardinals to avoid the type of ostentatious festivities that "stun worse than grappa on an empty stomach."

   Traditionally, new cardinals are feted with lavish parties, often funded by well-meaning parishioners, in Rome after the ceremony where they receive their red hats. Francis, known for his personal simplicity and disdain for anything fancy, said it was perfectly fine to celebrate but urged his new cardinals to accept a party "with humility."

   Some of the new cardinals who will be installed Feb. 14 hail from countries that have never before had a cardinal, including Cape Verde, Myanmar and Tonga. Many come from poor countries in the developing world -- Panama, Mozambique, Thailand -- reflecting Francis' insistence that the church hierarchy reflect the global reach of the Catholic Church and the "peripheries" where it must focus its ministry.

   Francis urged the new cardinals to not consider their new vocation a "prize" but rather a calling to serve.

   "Maintaining humility in service isn't easy if you consider being a cardinal as a prize, as the culmination of a career or a superior power," he said.

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