Pope tells 24 new cardinals that authority means service

Pope creates new cardinals, telling them authority means service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI created 24 new cardinals, including two from the United States, and called them to be strong in spreading and defending the faith and promoting peace and tranquility within the church. Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington and Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Vatican’s supreme court, joined other new cardinals from 13 countries Nov. 20 in formally professing their Catholic faith and fidelity to the pope. After the oath, all but one of the new cardinals knelt before the pope to receive a red biretta, a three-cornered ret hat, which the pope said, “signifies that you must be ready to act with strength, to the point of shedding blood, to increase the Christian faith, for the peace and tranquility of the people of God and for the freedom and growth of the holy Roman church.” Cardinal Antonios Naguib, the Catholic Coptic patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt, received a new patriarch’s hat with a thin red trim added to the traditional black veil. Pope Benedict concelebrated Mass Nov. 21 with the new cardinals and gave each of them a cardinal’s ring, telling them it was a sign “of your nuptial pact with the church.” Rather than precious gems, the gold rings feature a crucifix, which, “for the same reason your clothes allude to blood, is a symbol of life and love” as demonstrated by Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for the salvation of all, the pope said. During the consistory Nov. 20, the pope assigned the new cardinals a “titular church” in Rome, making them members of the Rome diocesan clergy, which is what the church’s first cardinals were.

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