Pope Francis has passed over higher-ranking San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and named Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, California, as one of 21 new cardinals in the Catholic Church.
Francis announced those who will be elevated and receive the prestigious red cardinal’s hat following traditional remarks Sunday at the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City, Rome.
Cordileone congratulated McElroy and recognized his San Francisco connections.
“Cardinal-elect McElroy is a native San Franciscan who was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of San Francisco in 1980,” Cordileone stated. “He served at several parishes, including St. Cecilia, St. Pius X, and St. Gregory. He was an auxiliary bishop here in the Archdiocese from 2010-2015 before being appointed to lead the Diocese of San Diego where he has served ever since. We send congratulations to Cardinal-elect McElroy.”
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While Francis’s reasons for passing over Cordileone were unclear, the San Francisco archbishop has been at the center of controversial debate concerning whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should be allowed to receive Holy Communion.
On May 20, Cordileone announced that Pelosi should not present herself to a priest for Communion at Mass because of her stance on abortion and her recent calls to protect access to abortion at the federal level.
Despite a growing number of bishops coming together to support Cordileone’s barring of Pelosi, the House speaker received the Eucharist at a Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., last week.
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Those set to be elevated to cardinal will reportedly participate in a consistory ceremony at the Vatican on Aug. 27. Among the 21 selected, 16 are younger than 80 and will be eligible to vote for Francis’s successor.