Archbishop Patrick D'Rozario, the highest ranking priest of the Roman Catholic Church in the country, was accorded a reception at Archbishop House at the city's Kakrail today as he has been appointed as cardinal, the first ever to reach such a high position as Bangalee.
Pope Francis on November 19 promoted D'Rozario and 16 other Roman Catholic prelates from around the world to the rank of cardinal.
Cardinals, who wear red hats and are known as "princes of the Church", are the most senior in the Roman Catholic hierarchy after the Pope and serve as his principal advisers around the world and in the Vatican. Prime Minister's International Affairs Adviser Professor Dr Gowher Rizvi, Vatican Ambassador to Bangladesh Archbishop George Kocherry and Archbishop of Calcutta Thomas D'Souza, among others, joined the function.
"We are very proud and delighted as Pope Francis appointed a cardinal from Bangladesh honoring the country before the world. It is not an achievement of a person rather for the entire nation," Patrick D'Rozario said.
Archbishop D'Souza said: "Patrick is a pride of our whole Bengali speaking people. He is now a spiritual leader of the world. We are really proud of him."
He hoped Patrick will become a herald of peace of the country. Born in Barisal's Padrishibpur in 1943, Patrick D'Rozario was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Dhaka in November 2010 by then Pope Benedict XVI.
In October 2011, he succeeded Archbishop Paulinus Costa as Archbishop of Dhaka. He is also the president of Catholic Bishops' Conference of
He is a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross and was ordained priest in 1972. Between 1990 and 1995, D'Rozario served as Bishop of Rajshahi and then went on to serve as Bishop of Chittagong. Naming new cardinals is one of the most significant powers of the papacy, allowing a pontiff to put his stamp on the future of the 1.2-billion-member global Church.
Cardinals under 80, known as cardinal-electors, can enter a secret conclave to choose a new pope from their own ranks once Francis dies or resigns.
Francis, the former cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected in a conclave on March 13, 2013.
Apart from 73-year-old D'Rozario, the other new cardinal-electors come from Italy, the Central African Republic, Spain, the United States, Brazil, Venezuela, Belgium, Mauritius, Mexico and Papua New Guinea.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)