Leaders congratulate Cardinal-designate O’Malley on elevation

BOSTON — Comments about Archbishop Seán P. O’Malley’s Feb. 22 appointment to the College of Cardinals by Pope Benedict XVI:

“Together with all the clergy, religious, and laity of the Fall River Diocese, I extend congratulations to Cardinal-designate O’Malley and offer to him our prayers in his service to the Church in the days and years to come.”

Bishop George W. Coleman of Fall River

“In naming Archbishop Seán O’Malley to the College of Cardinals, our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, pays tribute to a true son of St. Francis. Archbishop O’Malley is a man of prayer and of compassion, a man of faith and of peace. In all his pastoral ministries, he has constantly and consistently sought to imitate Christ the Good Shepherd. His nomination is an honor not simply to the man but to the people he serves. It honors Boston, all of Massachusetts, the whole of New England and the entire United States. We congratulate Cardinal-designate O’Malley and offer him our prayers and every good wish.”

Bishop Timothy McDonnell of Springfield

“On behalf of our entire diocese, I extend my congratulations to Cardinal-designate Seán O’Malley on this memorable day, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. It is a great responsibility to be elevated to the College of Cardinals and I am confident that, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, his love and devotion to the People of God will continue to serve our Church well for many years. I also offer my sincere gratitude to Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, for elevating Cardinal-designate O’Malley to the College of Cardinals. The Holy Father is assuring us by his decision that the community of faith in this part of New England, which is guided by Cardinal-designate O’Malley from the Metropolitan See of Boston, continues to be an important voice in the universal Church.”

Bishop Robert J. McManus, S.T.D., of Worcester

“Archbishop O’Malley is a man of deep faith and great ability. While he has faced very serious pastoral challenges, he has served the Church and God’s people with humility and integrity. As a friend since seminary days, Cardinal-designate O’Malley has always been a model to me of kindness, Franciscan simplicity of life and dedication to the poor. He will serve the Holy Father and the Catholic community with extraordinary skill as a member of the College of Cardinals.”

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap, of Denver

“I think, first of all, it’s a great personal tribute to him, and I think it’s an important day for Boston, because it’s a recognition of the people of faith, that this is a place of men and women, of families, that are strong believers, and I think it’s a compliment to the people here in Boston and, I think, all families are looking forward to a future and a positive hopeful time in the future.”

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.

“I congratulate Archbishop O’Malley on his elevation to the College of Cardinals. I wish him well in his new position within the Catholic Church and can only hope that he will be able to use his new stature to influence change not just within the Archdiocese of Boston but around the world. The Catholic Church and our archdiocese still have much to do to ensure the protection of our children and I look forward to working with Cardinal O’Malley toward that end.”

Attorney General Tom Reilly, Mass.

“This decision serves as recognition of the Cardinal-elect’s tireless leadership during difficult and trying times. In addition, I am pleased to see the elevation of a religious leader who has devoted much of his life to working with new immigrant populations that mean so much to the future of the Church and our city. Finally, as a Catholic, I am proud that the Holy See has honored the Archdiocese of Boston with a Cardinal-elect. This reflects the national and world standing of the archdiocese, the city and its people.”

Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Boston

“It is a sign of Archbishop O’Malley’s esteem within the Church that he has been invited to join the College of Cardinals. His elevation is a cause for celebration for Catholics across Massachusetts. I know he will bring his trademark wisdom, dignity and humility to his new responsibilities as a leader of the Catholic Church.”

Gov. Mitt Romney, Mass.

“This news marks a new period of opportunity for relations between Jews and Catholics in Boston. We look forward to continuing the work of our predecessors, with serious dialogue on issues of importance and to deepen our understanding of and respect for each other. In a time when virulent anti-Semitism is back in full force in the world, the importance of dialogue and building relationships has never been more pronounced.”

The Anti-Defamation League, New England Region

“I join the faithful of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, as well as the greater ecumenical and inter-religious community, in expressing our joy upon learning of the naming of Archbishop Seán O’Malley as Cardinal of the Church. We join in this great celebration and pray that almighty God continues to inspire the visionary leadership of Archbishop O’Malley.”

Metropolitan Methodios, spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in Boston and New England

“As you face the new challenges of serving the wider Church, we assure you and our sisters and brothers in the Archdiocese of Boston of our prayers and best wishes and offer our fellowship in service to our Lord and Savior.”

The Bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts

AP materials contributed to this story.