VATICAN CITY MAY 23, 2017 (CISA) – Pope Francis has elevated Archbishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako to the rank of Cardinal alongside five other prelates.
“I wish to announce that on June 28, a consistory will be held to appoint five new Cardinals. Their origin from different parts of the world manifests the catholicity of the Church, which reaches all around the earth,” Vatican Radio quoted the Pope as saying May 21 during his weekly Regina Coeli prayer.
Archbishop Zean Zerbo was born in Segou, Mali on December 27, 1943 and was ordained as a priest on July 10, 1971. He graduated from the Biblical Institute of Rome where he obtained a licentiate in sacred scripture in 1981.
Archbishop Zerbo worked as a parish priest for several years from 1982 in Markala and as a lecturer at the major seminary of Bamako.
He was appointed as auxiliary bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Bamako on June 21, 1988. On December 19, 1994, he was transferred to the Catholic Diocese of Mopti. Archbishop Zerbo was appointed Archbishop of Bamako on June 27, 1998.
According to Vatican Radio, Archbishop Zerbo has played an active role in the peace negotiation in Mali, fight against exclusion and has promoted reconciliation and solidarity among Malians.
The other named Cardinals are Archbishop Juan Jose Omella of the Catholic Archdiocese of Barcelona, Spain, Bishop Anders Arborelius of the Catholic Diocese of Stockholm, Sweden, Bishop Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun Apostolic Administrator of Vientiane, Laos and Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chavez, auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador in El Salvador.