Hyderabad’s Archbishop Poola Ethan becomes Cardinal Bishop, the first Dalit Christian to reach this position

Hyderabad's Archbishop Poola Ethan becomes Cardinal Bishop, the first Dalit Christian to reach this position


21 members of the Church were promoted to the rank of cardinals
Poola hails from Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh
Pope Francis announced his name in May this year

Vatican City. The Archbishop of Hyderabad, Poola Anthony, has been formally elected a cardinal. He is the first Dalit to reach this point. At an event in Vatican City on Saturday, Pope Francis wore a very special ‘red cap’ on Paula’s head and a ring on her hand. In a ceremony held at the Vatican, 21 members of the church were promoted to the rank of cardinals.

Two of India’s cardinals – Archbishop Philippe Neri of Goa Antonio Sebastiao de Rosario Ferraro and Damo and Archbishop Anthony Poola of Hyderabad – joined the Vatican. With the addition of these two, the total number of people of Indian origin joining the Cardinals has increased to six. His selection is seen as part of Pope Francis’ resolve to create a church leadership that reflects the universal face of the Catholic Church.

the selection is very special
Poola was born in Chindukur village in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. He was ordained as a priest in 1992. In 2008, Poola was appointed as the Bishop of Kurnool. Then he was 60 years old. Father Ferrao was born on January 20, 1953 in the village of Aldona, near Panaji. Speaking to reporters before being elected cardinal in Rome, Anthony echoed the words of Pope Francis, saying, ‘I wish for a poor church for the poor. How do you do this? I think the Dalit community should rise up. Unfortunately they have to get out.

Announced in May this year
Pope Francis announced the names of the new cardinals at the end of his traditional address in St Peter’s Square in May this year. At least 16 of the new cardinals are under the age of 80, making them eligible to vote in secret convention to elect the next pope. Two members of the church wearing the pope’s red cap are from India, while one each is from Mongolia, Ghana, Nigeria, Singapore, East Timor, Paraguay and Brazil.

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