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Revised prayer service to counter impression that the creation of cardinals is a sacrament


Vatican City (CNS): Pope Benedict XVI will use a revised, streamlined prayer service to create 22 new cardinals in February, partly  to avoid giving the impression that becoming a cardinal is a sacrament or quasi-sacrament.

“The rite used up to now has been revised and simplified with the approval of the Holy Father Benedict XVI,” reported the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, on January 7.

The paper said there would no ring Mass on the day after the consistory; the new cardinals will receive their red hats, their cardinal rings and the assignment of their titular churches in Rome during the same ceremony on Febraury 18.

They still will celebrate Mass with the pope the day after the consistory; at the beginning of the Mass.

The ritual was revised in order to maintain an atmosphere of prayer, while not giving the impression that becoming a cardinal is a liturgical event, the newspaper explained.

“The creation of new cardinals should be located within a context of prayer while avoiding any element that could give the idea of a sacrament of the cardinalate,” it said. “In fact, historically, the consistory was never considered a liturgical rite, but rather a meeting of the pope with the cardinals in relation to the governance of the Church.”


List of new cardinals



Archbishop Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, 65; Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio, president Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travellers, who turns 74 on February 3; Archbishop Giuseppe Bertello, president of the commission governing Vatican City State, 69; Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Interpreting Legislative Texts, 73; Archbishop Domenico Calcagno president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, who turns 69 on February 3; Archbishop Giuseppe Versaldi, president of Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, 68; Archbishop Giuseppe Betori of Florence, 64.


Elsewhere in Europe

Archbishop Manuel Monteiro de Castro of Portugal, major penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary, 73; Archbishop Santos Abril Castello of Spain, archpriest of Basilica of St. Mary Major, 76; Archbishop Dominik Duka of Prague, the Czech Republic, 68; Archbishop Willem J. Eijk of Utrecht, the Netherlands, 58;  Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki of Berlin, Germany, 55. Archbishop Lucian Muresan of Fagaras and Alba Iulia, Romania, major archbishop of the Romanian Catholic Church, 80; Father Julien Ries of Belgium, expert on history of religions, 91; Father Prosper Grech of Malta, biblical scholar, 86; Father Karl Josef Becker of Germany, retired professor of dogmatic theology, 83.


South America

Archbishop Joao Braz de Aviz of Brazil, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, 64.


North America

Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of the United States of America, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, 72; Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, the United States of America, who will turn 62 on February 6; Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto, Canada, who turns 65 on January 16; 



Archbishop George Alencherry of Ernakulam-Angamaly, India, major archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, 66;  Bishop John Tong Hon of Hong Kong, 72.


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