Pope Elevates 22 Men To Cardinal
February 18, 2012 by staff
Pope Elevates 22 Men To Cardinal, Pope Benedict XVI is bringing 22 new Catholic churchmen into the elite club of cardinals who will elect his successor, amid signs the 84-year-old pontiff is slowing down.
Benedict presided over a ceremony Saturday in St. Peter’s Basilica to formally create the 22 cardinals, who include the archbishops of New York, Prague, Hong Kong and Toronto as well as the heads of several Vatican offices.
The ceremony has been clouded by embarrassing leaks of internal documents alleging financial mismanagement in Vatican affairs, and reports in the Italian media of political jockeying among church officials who, sensing an increasingly weak pontiff, are already preparing for a conclave.
None of that was on display Saturday, however, amid the pomp of the consistory that will bring to 125 the number of cardinals under age 80 who are thus eligible to vote in a papal election. In all, the College of Cardinals now numbers 213.
Benedict was wheeled into St. Peter’s Basilica aboard the moving platform he has been using for several months to spare him the long walk down the center aisle. Benedict, who turns 85 in April, spoke in a strong voice as he told the cardinals they will be called upon to advise him on the problems facing the church.
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