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Cardinal O’Malley keeps date this year

Posted By April 3, 2014 | 12:40 pm | Lead Story #2
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By Tanya Connor

WORCESTER – Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston was a year late, but right up to date.
Not having been elected pope last year, he was available to speak about the man who was – Pope Francis – at this year’s Adopt-A-Student dinner March 27 at Mechanics Hall.
Robert R. Pape, chairman of the Adopt-A-Student steering committee, said they were pleased to have the cardinal there for the Adopt-A-Student program’s 25th anniversary. He said that last year he was upset with Pope Benedict XVI for resigning and causing them to lose Cardinal O’Malley as their speaker, as had been scheduled.
The cardinal had to go to Rome at that time to help elect a new pope, and some speculated he could be chosen. Asked about that last week, Cardinal O’Malley replied good-naturedly that he had a round-trip ticket; he wasn’t planning to stay in Rome.
However, he still has to go back and forth, thanks to Pope Francis. And he was planning a trip to Arizona, to pray for less fortunate travelers. He spoke briefly with The Catholic Free Press about these things after the Adopt-A-Student dinner.
He is a member of the international panel of cardinals Pope Francis named last April to advise him on governing the universal Church and reforming the Roman Curia.
In December the pope established the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, and on March 22 its first members were announced, among them Cardinal O’Malley.
Cardinal O’Malley said he heads to Rome next month for that commission’s first meeting. Their first task is to develop a “game plan” for going forward, he said. They need to try to identify people from other countries to add to the commission. He said the pope is very anxious for the Church to make a united response in this area.
“It’s our hope too that what the Church does” will be an example to other institutions, he said, and spoke of initiating programs to guarantee children’s safety.
Asked what he wanted to tell Catholic Free Press readers about this, he requested prayers that the Holy Spirit will inspire commission members so they can give the pope good counsel.
He also asked for readers’ prayers about immigration issues as he prepared to join other bishops in Nogales, Ariz., Tuesday for a Mass for the thousands of migrants who have died trying to cross into the desert from Mexico.
Cardinal O’Malley told The Catholic Free Press about the death of immigrants and the separation of their families and said there are 11 million people in the United States illegally. Immigration legislation is sorely needed, he said.
He expressed hope that the bishops’ presence at the border would be a sign to the world of the suffering of human beings and a clarion call to the United States government for rational immigration reform.
Tuesday he led members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration as they celebrated Mass and laid a wreath at the border wall to remember those who have died on both sides.
The trip was inspired by Pope Francis, who went to Lampedusa, Italy, last year and threw a wreath into the Mediterranean Sea to pray for migrants who died trying to reach Europe by boat.