CASTRIES: The Government of St. Lucia has congratulated Archbishop Emeritus ofCastries, Monsignor Kelvin Edward Felix, who was included among 19 men from Asia, Africa, North and South America and the Caribbean in the first batch of cardinals named by Pope Francis on Sunday.
“On behalf of the government and people of St. Lucia, I extend congratulations and warmest good wishes to Cardinal-Elect, His Eminence Monsignor Kelvin Felix, to the Bishops of the Antilles Episcopal Conference and to the Roman Catholic Church in the Caribbean,” said Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony.
Sixteen of the appointees are younger than 80, meaning they are eligible to elect the next pope, which is a cardinal’s most important task. The Pope also named a Bishop fromHaitiamong the new cardinals.
The ceremony to formally install them as cardinals will be held February 22 at theVatican.
TheSt. Luciagovernment said that Monsignor Felix, 80, would be elevated to his new position on the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, which also coincides with the island’s anniversary of political independence fromBritain.
Dr. Anthony, noting that Monsignor Felix is the first person from the Antilles Episcopal Conference, which covers the English, French and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, to be made a cardinal, said “for this, the people of St. Lucia, the Commonwealth of Dominica where he was born, and the region as a whole are justifiably proud.
“As the Holy Father lauds Archbishop Felix’s long and dedicated service to the Holy See and to the Church, the Government of St. Lucia would also like to acknowledge his sterling contribution to this nation and the region in the area of ecumenism, regional integration and human development during his 27 years as Archbishop of Castries.
“It is for such eminent service that in 2002 he was awarded the Medal of Honour (SLMH, Gold) in the Order ofSaint Luciaby the government.”
Felix said he would still be based inDominicaas cardinals “continue their pastoral journeys and they represent the Holy Father in a certain way…and to recommend certain decisions to be taken for the benefit of the people.
“I doubt I would be called to Rome because once you are 75 years you demit office,” said Felix, who served as Archbishop of Castries for 27 years.