.- This morning Pope Benedict had a special request for the 23 new cardinals and their families and friends, who he received in Paul VI Hall, he asked for their prayers "that communion between pastors and the Pope may remain solid” as a testimony to the faithfulness of the Church to Christ.
"The consistory and yesterday's Eucharistic celebration," said the Pope, "have provided us with a unique opportunity to experience the catholicity of the Church, well represented by the varied origins of the members of the College of Cardinals, gathered in close communion around Peter's Successor."
In the ceremony where he created the new cardinals, the Holy Father also noted the new diversity of the Church saying, "[t]imes have changed and the great family of Christ's disciples has today spread to every continent, ... it speaks almost every language of the world and its members include people from all cultures.” He also said that this “providential growth” highlights “the changing pastoral requirements to which the Pope is called to respond."
Having greeted the new cardinals in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish, the Pope addressed them all together giving them assurances of his prayers and asking them always to accompany him with "your valuable human and pastoral experience.” "I place great reliance on your precious support in order to be able to carry out my ministry to the entire people of God," added Benedict XVI.
The Holy Father also enlisted the help of the families and friends of the new cardinals by asking them to continue praying for them and for him, "that communion between pastors and the Pope may remain solid, so as to present the whole world with the testimony of a Church faithful to Christ and ready to meet the spiritual hopes and needs of modern man with prophetic courage."
The assembled cardinals and family members were sent on their way with a message from Pope Benedict: "Returning to your dioceses, bear my greetings and the assurances of my constant prayers to the Lord. Upon you, dear cardinals, and upon everyone present here, I invoke the protection of the heavenly Mother of God and of the saintly Apostles Peter and Paul."