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What the Consistory Consists Of

New Cardinals to Manifest Willingness to Suffer for Church

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 24, 2006 (Zenit) - The red hat that 15 new cardinals will receive from Benedict XVI on Friday will manifest their willingness to shed their blood for the Church.

The Pope will attest to this during the consistory for the elevation of new cardinals, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. local time in St. Peter's Square.

According to the new rite introduced in the June 1991 consistory, the ceremony will begin with a liturgical greeting and the Holy Father's reading of the formula of elevation and of the solemn proclamation of the names of the new cardinals.

The first of the new cardinals will then address the Holy Father, on behalf of everyone.

This will be followed by the Liturgy of the Word, the Pontiff's homily, the Profession of Faith and the taking of the oath by each cardinal.

The text of the oath, translated from the Latin original, states:

"I [name and surname], Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, promise and swear to be faithful henceforth and forever, while I live, to Christ and his Gospel, being constantly obedient to the Holy Roman Apostolic Church, to Blessed Peter in the person of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, and of his canonically elected Successors; to maintain communion with the Catholic Church always, in word and deed; not to reveal to any one what is confided to me in secret, nor to divulge what may bring harm or dishonor to Holy Church; to carry out with great diligence and faithfulness those tasks to which I am called by my service to the Church, in accord with the norms of the law. So help me Almighty God."

Then each new cardinal will approach the Pope and kneel before him to receive the red hat and be assigned a title or deaconry. The Pope will say, in part:

"It is red as a sign of the dignity of the office of a cardinal, signifying that you are ready to act with fortitude, even to the point of spilling your blood for the increase of the Christian faith, for peace and harmony among the people of God, for freedom and the spread of the Holy Roman Catholic Church."

The Holy Father will then hand over the bull of the creation of cardinals, assign the title or deaconry -- as a sign of their participation in the Pope's pastoral care for the city of Rome -- and exchange a kiss of peace with the new members of the College of Cardinals.

The cardinals will also exchange such a sign among themselves.

The rite will conclude with the Prayer of the Faithful, the recitation of the Our Father and the final blessing.

On Saturday, Benedict XVI will preside at the concelebration of Mass with the new cardinals, to whom he will give the cardinal's ring, "the sign of dignity, pastoral care and the most solid communion with the See of Peter."

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Consistory, Pope, Cardinals, Church, Vatican

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