History has been created in the Caribbean as Pope Francis will elevate Monsignior Kelvin Edward Felix, Archbishop Emeritus of Castries, St Lucia, to a Cardinal.
The Pope made the announcement yesterday in Rome, Italy, during the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord.
The appointment will take place during the Public Concistory on February 22, which is also celebrated as the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter.
The letter from Rome was addressed to Arcbishop Patrick Pinder, Archbishop of Nassau, Bahamas. Felix is a Dominican and lives there now, dedicating himself to the vocation of the priesthood.
Via a release yesterday, Archbishop Nicola Girasoli, Apostolic Nuncio to the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC), said: “With great joy, I have the honour to participate in the following joyful and historic news for our region. For the first time one member of the Episcopate the Region of (AEC) will be elevated to the dignity of Cardinal. We all rejoice and congratulate Archbishop Felix for this appointment which as Pope Francis mentioned is an acknowledgment ‘for his long and dedicated service to the Holy See and to the church’.”
Girasoli added: “We express our profound gratitude to Pope Francis for having considered for the first time in the history of the AEC, to appoint Cardinal a member of the Episcopate of this Region. This appointment is also a great sign of appreciation for the tireless and dedicated pastoral ministry of all our Bishops and for the Church of the Caribbean.
“While we will be united to Archbishop Felix, who will receive the ‘Red Hat’ at the St Peter Basilica in the Vatican on February 14, we pray for the new Cardinal, and for the pastoral ministry of all our Bishops in the Region.”
In response to the news, Archbishop Joseph Harris said: “Felix is the first cardinal appointed from the English-speaking Caribbean. Felix is retired now, but the Holy Father saw it fit to give him this appointment to be a Cardinal. To be a Cardinal is to become an adviser of the Holy Father. It is a great honour indeed.” See Page 20