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Cardinal Timothy Dolan

February 18, 2012 by staff 

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Pope Benedict XVI created 22 new cardinals from 13 countries – including three from the United States and Canada – placing red hats on their heads and calling them to lives of even greater love and service to the Church.

The Churchmen who joined the College of Cardinals Feb. 18 included Cardinals Timothy M. Dolan of New York; Edwin F. O’Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem and former archbishop of Baltimore; and Thomas C. Collins of Toronto.

In their first official act in their new role, the new cardinals were asked to join their peers in giving the pope their opinion, in writing, on the canonization of seven new saints, including Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, an American Indian, and Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai, Hawaii.

The pope announced at the consistory that the canonization ceremony would be celebrated Oct. 21 at the Vatican.

St. Peter’s Basilica was filled to overflowing for the ceremony, and several thousand people sat in a sunny St. Peter’s Square watching on large video screens. Choirs from New York and from several Italian dioceses provided music for the service.

At the end of the ceremony, the College of Cardinals had 213 members, 125 of whom were under the age of 80 and, therefore, eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope.

The consistory took the form of a prayer service. After the Gospel reading, in what the Vatican described as an allocution, not a homily, the pope told the cardinals that love and service, not an air of greatness, are to mark their lives as cardinals.

“Dominion and service, egoism and altruism, possession and gift, self-interest and gratuitousness: These profoundly contrasting approaches confront each other in every age and place,” Pope Benedict said, but the cardinals must model their lives on that of Jesus, loving others to the point of giving up his life for them.

Cardinal O’Brien told reporters afterward that the ceremony and the pope’s remarks underlined that becoming a cardinal “is not a reward, it brings on greater responsibilities – something the pope experiences every day.”

He said that when he knelt before the pope, “I thanked him; I said I’d serve him completely with my whole heart.”

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