Bishop Giorgio Marengo has roots in Italy and is expected to link Europe and Asia in more ways than one
Bishop Giorgio Marengo of Ulaanbaatar is to become the youngest cardinal. (Photo: wikipedia.org)
Making someone a prince of the Catholic Church in a sparsely populated Asian country sandwiched between communist China and authoritarian Russia has much to do with faith and pastoral requirements. But its apparent geopolitical expediency cannot be ignored.
By conferring a red hat on 47-year-old Bishop Giorgio Marengo, the apostolic prefect of Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, 85-year-old Pope Francis has found his youngest cardinal.
Bishop Marengo came to serve Mongolia in 2002, hardly two years after his ordination as a priest. Church records show it is a tiny mission with fewer than 1,300 Catholics in a population of 3.5 million, served by two Mongol priests,…