Pope Benedict creates six non-European cardinals
By Estefania Aguirre
Pope Benedict XVI celebrates a consistory on Nov. 24 2012 in St. Peter's Basilica. Credit: Lewis Ashton Glancy/CNA.
Pope Benedict XVI celebrates a consistory on Nov. 24 2012 in St. Peter's Basilica. Credit: Lewis Ashton Glancy/CNA.

.- Pope Benedict XVI presided over the creation of six new cardinals Nov. 24, and in a unusual occurrence, none of them were European.

The consistory took place at 11 a.m. on Saturday in St. Peter’s Basilica and involved bishops from the United States, Lebanon, India, Nigeria, Colombia and the Philippines. During the ceremony, the men all received rings from the Pope and made vows to him.

Pope Benedict XVI asked the new cardinals to focus on fidelity and the universality of the Church.

"I want to highlight the fact that the Church is the Church of all peoples, and so she speaks in the various cultures of the different continents," said Pope Benedict.

As part of becoming cardinals, they vowed to "cooperate more directly with Benedict XVI and his canonically elected successors" and "to not make known to anyone matters entrusted to me in confidence, the disclosure of which could bring damage or dishonor to the Holy Church."

"What makes the Church catholic is the fact that Christ in his saving mission embraces all humanity," said Pope Benedict.

He said in his homily that "by following Jesus one enters a new kingdom that conquers fragmentation and dispersal."

"Jesus promises that they (the apostles) will be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, and he confers upon them the task of bearing witness to him all over the world, transcending the cultural and religious confines within which they were accustomed to think and live, so as to open themselves to the universal Kingdom of God," said Pope Benedict.

The six men who received the honor were the American Archbishop James Michael Harvey, Lebanese Patriarch Bechara Boutros Raï, Indian Major Archbishop Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, Nigerian Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Colombian Archbishop Rubén Salazar Gómez and Filipino Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle.

"It's so exciting to be here and have a Nigerian as one of the cardinals," said Honorus Obasi, who works for the Nigerian embassy to Italy.

"It's a great occasion because the Church is developing in Africa and creating a Nigerian cardinal will help the country," he added.

"Cardinal John Onaiyekan is a very humble” and outspoken man. “We're very proud and happy to have him here," said Obasi.

Popes usually create cardinals every two or three years, but this marks the second consistory in 2012, after Pope Benedict held one on Feb. 18 for the creation of 22 cardinals.

The six new cardinals are all under the age of 80, which means they are eligible to vote on who will be the next Pope, alongside 120 other cardinals.

Today’s consistory was also notable because it is the first one in decades at which no Europeans were made cardinals.

The Lebanese, whose president also attended the event, expressed their joy of having more representation in the Vatican with Patriarch Bechara Boutros Raï becoming their second cardinal.

"I'm so happy because our country is so small, but we can still now be a part of the Vatican with our second cardinal," said Tanya Daccache, visiting from Keserwan, Lebanon.

"This is going to help Christians in the Middle East because it's going to force Muslims to respect us more," she added.

"The Arab Spring has been severely affecting Christians and we want to be able to stay there. We have a big duty to raise our children with the mentality of staying in Lebanon."

"We're such a small country, but we have seven saints," Daccache added.

A Lebanese entrepreneur who lives in France said he feels that the elevation of Patriarch Raï was a gift from God.

"It's a donation from God because he is such a great person, and it's a huge and great pleasure to have our patriarch be a cardinal," said Raymond Elasmar.

"We're hoping we will now be more protected in the Middle East, and we hope God gives him the health and the energy to guide all of us," he said.

Henrietta Devilla, the former Philippine ambassador to the Holy See, is a friend of the newly-created Philippine cardinal.

"It's a sign of grace for the Philippines," she said. "I know him personally, and he's brilliant man and very compassionate."

"You don't have to bow to him or anything. He's like Jesus who didn't come to be served but to serve," Devilla remarked.

"We're very grateful to the Holy Father for doing this because we're the only Christian nation in Asia," she said.

Devilla also noted that Cardinal Tagle is the “only active cardinal because our other two are Emeritus."

Tags: Consistory, Pope Benedict

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 26:14-25


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Is 50:4-9a
Gospel:: Mt 26:14-25

Homily of the Day

Mt 26:14-25


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: