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Cardinal-Designate Robert McElroy attends first San Diego mass since appointment

Posted at 7:22 PM, Jun 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-04 22:22:55-04

DEL MAR, Calif. (KGTV) — Saturday, Cardinal-Designate Robert McElroy attended his first large-scale mass in San Diego County since Pope Francis appointed him.

He was one of 21 new church officials named by the pope and the only one chosen from the U.S.

McElroy attended the annual Diocese of San Diego's Pentecost Mass for All Peoples at Cathedral Catholic High School.

Pentecost is held 50 days after Easter and represents the beginning of the Christian church.

The event brings together more than 20 cultures of the Catholic community.

"It's always festive, it's always playful, and it's always a celebration of the unity of the human family," McElroy said.

During the mass, McElroy joked about why he believes the pope chose him.

"Of all of the cities in the United States, the one that comes closest to having the climate of heaven is San Diego," McElroy said.

Honestly, McElroy said he's not exactly sure why he was designated.

"Not only don't I know why he picked me, I never got a call, even now," McElroy said.

Still, McElroy said he's honored by his upcoming appointment.

McElroy is considered a moderate and has spoken out about the inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community.

"[Pope] Francis is pointing in that general direction and had released a statement on it recently about the need to be more welcoming because they're part of our family and the fabric of who we are as a church," McElroy said.

He's also been vocal on other topics he said the pope is concerned about, such as the environment, immigration, and refugee issues.

As a Cardinal, he now has a bigger platform to keep those discussions going.

"I think that'll continue," McElroy said. "There will be more attention on it on certain levels as to what I say."

McElroy said he's glad he'll be able to remain in San Diego as a Cardinal, but he will be required to travel more often to Rome and the other places in his new role.