New Zealand bishops welcomed the appointment of Cardinal-designate John Dew and expressed confidence in his ability to contribute to the College of Cardinals.
As well as being an honour for Archbishop John personally, it is also an honour for the Roman Catholic Church in New Zealand, continuing as it does the line of cardinals which began with Cardinal Peter McKeefry.
Archbishop John has travelled indomitably for some years, exercising various roles on behalf of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference, and has numerous contacts among the world’s bishops and cardinals.
I pray to the Lord to protect him and make him strong in his new responsibilities.
+ Barry Jones
The growing international mix of the College of Cardinals seems to reflect the desire of Pope Francis to have the voice of branch managers better heard at head office. Archbishop John’s many years of varied and dedicated pastoral ministry will bring an experienced voice to that chorus.
Also, I think Pope Francis is keen to ensure that the image of the Church as a universal community
of faith is at the fore. The great variety of individuals among the new cardinals helps manifest who and what the Catholic Church is.
This is indeed happy news for Archbishop John and Cardinal Tom Williams together with we bishops and the people of the Church in New Zealand. We are also celebrating the nomination of Bishop Paini Mafi of Tonga as a cardinal.
+ Charles Drennan
I am personally delighted at the appointment of Archbishop John now as a cardinal.
He has served for some years as president of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference where I, and all the New Zealand bishops, have valued his wise and gentle leadership.
In addition to this, he completed a term this year as President of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania (FCBCO), which comprises all the bishops of Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomons, New Zealand, and the CEPAC bishops of the Pacific Islands to the north of New Zealand. His
election to this position is proof that the esteem with which we in New Zealand hold the new cardinal
designate is shared by all the bishops of the region.
The FCBCO conference that was hosted by Archbishop John last May in Wellington was judged by participants to have been “the best” so far.
At the Extraordinary Synod on the Family held in Rome last October, Archbishop John attended as president of the New Zealand bishops. During that synod he played a key role as “relator” for one of the large English-speaking groups, and his leadership role there was appreciated by many.
Archbishop John described himself in a recent media interview as a “down-to-earth Kiwi bloke”, and it is precisely because of these traits that I am confident his contribution to the College of Cardinals will be invaluable, and will also be a great support to Pope Francis as the successor of St Peter.
For similar reasons I also see the appointmet of Bishop Soane Papita Paini Mafi to the College of
Cardinals as being inspired. As well as being the Bishop of Tonga, he is President of the CEPAC
(Pacific) Conference of Bishops.
He too has a calm, dignified and common sense manner which is warmly appreciated by his fellow bishops as well as by his own people.
The contribution from the two new cardinals from the Pacific will help the College of Cardinals to stay in touch with the thinking of priests and people at the grassroots level.
+ Pat Dunn
As a new cardinal nominated by Pope Francis, Archbishop John is eminently suited to the role. He is a man with a wonderful pastoral heart for the needs of people, and his concern for the Church and common good is testified to by the many meetings and committees he attends at local and national level.
Our new cardinal has had a wide breadth of pastoral experience as a priest of Wellington archdiocese;
he has served in parishes, he has undertaken mission work in the Pacific and has been involved in seminary formation. In that latter role he is well known in the south here with many good, supportive friends.
I am sure that the Church as a whole in New Zealand will be delighted with our new cardinal and, as a successor of our wonderful Cardinal Tom Williams, will represent New Zealand and Oceania very well.