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Sydney's Pell now 'prince' of Church

Australia's new Cardinal George Pell told reporters after his installation in Rome last night that he is honoured to have been created a cardinal, and last night's occasion represented "a recognition of the contribution of Catholics in Australia to the Universal Church".

"It's a recognition of the role of Sydney as mother Church for all Australians," he added.

Hundred of thousands of Catholics from around the world were present to see Pell and 29 other new cardinals receive the "red hat". The remaining cardinal, who remains unnamed for political reasons, did not participate. Onlookers in St Peter's Square included about 100 of his friends and family who had journeyed from Victoria, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, London and the US.

On Monday evening, Cardinal Pell said Mass for his group in the Roman Basilica of St Maria Maggorie, one of the largest churches in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

The former Melbourne archbishop was joined on the altar by about 15 priests from Australia.

Speaking from his Rome hotel, the Ballarat-born cardinal's cousin Monsignor Henry Nolan told the local Courier newspaper that the occasion was proof that an "ordinary" boy can become a prince of the Church.

"While not everybody in Ballarat is a Catholic, it's really something for an ordinary Ballarat boy who went to an ordinary school and who suddenly becomes a priest of the church before becoming a cardinal."

Cardinal Pell was forthcoming with answers to a variety of questions from international reporters. He said that his joy last night was mixed with sorrow as he observed the physcal decline of the Holy Father.

"[But] His life has been full of surprises, and there might be more surprises [in store]," Pell said.

Cardinal Pell was also questioned about the work of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), which he now heads, as the group prepares for a meeting later this week.

"We hope that the translations that are made will be faithful to the directives given in the text Liturgiam Authenticam," he said. "But it is equally important that they are good translations and faithful to the Latin." He said that he hoped to see the final translation of the Roman Missal into English completed within two years.

Pell becomes a prince (Herald-Sun)
Pell officially made a cardinal (Ballarat Courier)
New Cardinal Pell speaks on Pope's health, ICEL translations (Catholic World News)
Pell becomes cardinal (ABC Radio AM - transcript available mid-morning)

Archdiocese of Sydney | Information on the 21 Oct Consistory and other events for Cardinal-Elect Pell | Inaugural Press Conference - 29 Sept | Biographical Information
Pope welcomes the new Cardinal Pell (Daily Telegraph)
Pope to elevate Pell's rank (AFP/ninemsn)
Editorial: Cardinal Pell (Herald-Sun)
A cardinal virtue is made of a publican's son (Sydney Morning Herald)
Pope blesses Pell with red cap (Advertiser)
Pope to elevate Pell's rank (AAP/The Age)
It's a red-letter day for Cardinal Pell (The Age)
Pell leaves for Rome (20/10/03)
Pell in Cathedral celebration before departure for Rome (17/10/03)

22 Oct 2003