Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte
MONTREAL – When asked what advice or encouragement Cardinal Thomas Collins might need in his new position, Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, archbishop of Montreal, laughed.
"I will it say it's courage," Turcotte said from his office in Montreal. "To be a cardinal, it's a lot of work. It is not only to elect the pope!" He will become a member of many congregations or dicasteries in the Holy See, he said. "Cardinals are the counsellors of the pope in those different congregations."
Turcotte noted Collins already has much experience in running a large, busy and important diocese. "He will be very good," he said, noting that he has known Collins for many years. "I think he's a good organizer of his time."
The best advice he can give is to find "many, many assistants to help him in his job," the cardinal said. "He will have to delegate to his assistants in his diocese some work he was able to do before to find time for all the demands he will receive from the pope."
Collins will also have a wonderful sense of being received by all his confreres as a member of the College of Cardinals, among important and bright men from all over the world.
"We become friends all together," he said. "It's like a team or club, very exclusive," that will give the new cardinal a chance to know very well some "very important men in the Church."
He praised Collins' Scripture scholarship, a competence that will be most useful for the Church. "The most important thing we have to do is teach the Gospel, and on that topic Tom Collins is a very good specialist."
As archbishop of Toronto he was already an important man in the Church in Canada, he said. "Tom is going to be an important man in the universal Church, too."
Turcotte especially praised Collins love of announcing Jesus Christ and making his message known through lectio divina.
"I listen to him on Salt and Light (TV) when he gives his lectio divina," he said. "I learn a lot of things from him."