Six new appointed cardinals from Nigeria, Colombia, Lebanon, others
Pope Benedict's appointment demonstrates the global reach of church
Pope Benedict XVI newly appointed cardinals comes from all points of the globe, as if to demonstrate the church's reach across the 21st Century world. The six new cardinals were appointed in a special ceremony at St. Peter's Basilica this past weekend. Remarkably, all were from countries outside of Europe.
Each cardinal received the traditional red hat, or 'biretta,' gold ring and a document with the name of the cardinal's titular church in Rome.
The five others were Bechara Boutros Rai, a Maronite patriarch from Lebanon; Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, an Indian archbishop and head of the Syro-Malankara Church; Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria; Archbishop Ruben Salazar Gomez of Bogota, Colombia and Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines.
Each cardinal received the traditional red hat, or "biretta," gold ring and a document with the name of the cardinal's titular church in Rome. The bright red of the cardinals' hats is viewed as symbolic of the ultimate sacrifice they would make if required -- shedding their own blood for the Catholic Church.
According to Vatican Radio, the pontiff's address focused on the diversity of the church and how it belongs to the global community.
"What makes the Church Catholic is the fact that Christ in his saving mission embraces all humanity," he is quoted as saying.
"Situated within the context and the perspective of the Church's unity and universality is the College of Cardinals: it presents a variety of faces, because it expresses the face of the universal Church."
The chief role of the College of Cardinals is to advise the pope and pick his successor. The new cardinals are all reportedly younger than 80, inferring they could take part in picking the next pope.
Once a cardinal reaches 80, he is no longer able to participate in the election of the pope or enter the secret conclave where cardinals gather when the time comes to select the next pope.
The pope appointed another 22 cardinals in February; the majority of them were European, with a handful from further afield.
This group included New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Baltimore Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien and Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins, as well as the Bishop of Hong Kong, John Tong Hon, and Major Archbishop George Alencherry from India.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Pope Benedict, Cardinals, College of the Cardinals, pope selection
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