Pope creates 22 new cardinals
Saturday 18 February 2012
Pope Benedict XVI is bringing 22 new Catholic churchmen into the elite club of cardinals who will elect his successor.
Benedict, 84, is presiding over a ceremony in St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican to formally create the 22 cardinals, who include the archbishops of New York, Prague, Hong Kong and Toronto as well as the heads of several Vatican offices.
But the ceremony has been clouded by embarrassing leaks of internal documents alleging financial mismanagement in Vatican affairs, and reports in the Italian media of political jockeying among church officials who, sensing an increasingly weak pontiff, are already preparing for a conclave.
Today's consistory will bring to 125 the number of cardinals aged under 80 who are eligible to vote in a papal election. In all, the College of Cardinals now numbers 213.
Benedict was wheeled into St Peter's Basilica aboard the moving platform he has been using for several months to spare him the long walk down the centre aisle.
Benedict, who turns 85 in April, spoke in a strong voice as he told the cardinals they will be called upon to advise him on the problems facing the church.
In remarks at the start of the service, Benedict recalled that the red colour of the three-pointed hat, or biretta, and the scarlet cassock that cardinals wear symbolises the blood that cardinals must be willing to shed to remain faithful to the church.
"The new cardinals are entrusted with the service of love: love for God, love for his church, an absolute and unconditional love for his brothers and sisters even unto shedding their blood, if necessary," Benedict said.
At the end of his remarks, Benedict said: "And pray for me, that I may continually offer to the people of God the witness of sound doctrine and guide holy church with a firm and humble hand."
Of the 22 new cardinals, seven are Italian, adding to the eight voting-age Italian cardinals named at the last consistory in November 2010. As of today, Italy will have 30 cardinals out of the 125 under 80.
That boosts Italy's chances of taking back the papacy for one of its own following decades under a Polish and a German pope, or at least playing the kingmaker role if an Italian papabile, or papal candidate, does not emerge.
South Korea ferry: Vice principal rescued from sinking ship found hanged
Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Oscar Pistorius trial: The case against Oscar Pistorius – and why the prosecution claims his story doesn't add up
Peaches Geldof funeral: Private ceremony to be held at same place as her mother Paula Yates on Easter Monday
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Are you turning into your dad? The top ten signs you've embraced dad-ism revealed as survey says 38 is age men turn into their father
- 2 Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...