He will not be able to participate in a conclave to elect or be voted as pope though.
Pope Francis announced the cardinal appointment of Bishop Emeritus of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel. The Conference of the Mexican Episcopate (CEM) reported that the cardinal’s cap will be delivered at the next consistory on November 28, in Rome.
Arizmendi Esquivel will be the sixth cardinal that the country currently has, together with the archbishop primate of Mexico, Carlos Aguiar Retes; the Archbishop of Guadalajara, José Francisco Robles Ortega; the archbishop emeritus of Mexico, Norberto Rivera Carrera; the Archbishop of Morelia, Alberto Suárez Inda, and the Archbishop Emeritus of Guadalajara, Juan Sandoval Íñiguez.
The emeritus bishop of San Cristóbal de las Casas was born on May 1, 1940 in the state of Mexico, he was ordained as a priest on August 25, 1963. He was bishop of Tapachula from 1991 to 2000 and priest in the Archdiocese of Toluca since his ordination in 1963 until his episcopal appointment.
On November 3, 2017, the resignation of the ecclesiastical government of San Cristóbal de las Casas was accepted by Pope Francis.
The Multimedia Catholic Center (CCM) stated that for the Catholic Church, imposing the cardinal’s cap “implies a very special deference from the pontiff to a bishop distinguished by his qualities, wisdom, or pastoral work.”
He indicated that Arizmendi Esquivel “becomes a sui generis cardinal, to which Pope Francis has accustomed. By eliminating those traditions of capelles from the preponderant churches, turning to set eyes on Catholic communities that they could never have imagined ”.
He added that “the merits of the neo-cardinal could be given in this consolidation of the indigenous pastoral, predominantly promoted with Don Samuel Ruiz García.”
The CCM stressed that despite the appointment, Arizmendi Esquivel can no longer be Pope. “He cannot participate in a conclave to elect or be voted.” Practically, he added, Francisco has made deference to the person of the bishop emeritus of San Cristóbal de las Casas.
“A tribute to his predecessors, as happened with the cardinalate granted to Gregorio Rosa Chávez, auxiliary of San Salvador and promoter of the cause of canonization of the martyr Archbishop Óscar Romero, and an urgent call to recognize the values and treasure of the peoples and indigenous communities in Mexico and Latin America, imposing them to live in discarding and the peripheries, overcoming the polarization caused by sterile demands to ask for forgiveness in a kind of political revenge ”, he highlighted.
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