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Pope creates new cardinals

A largely silent Pope John Paul II last night elevated 31 new cardinals at a consistory of the "princes of the Church" at the Vatican.

His voice weak and slurred, the 83-year-old Pope pronounced the Latin liturgical formula elevating the new "princes of the Church", but he did not attempt to recite his homily, which was read for him by an aide.

For the first time, in the central part of the colourful ceremony, John Paul II did not place the ceremonial red biretta on each cardinal's head, as is the Church tradition - a further sign of his declining mobility due to Parkinson's disease.

Instead, he handed them the square red hat denoting their high office as they approached one by one and knelt before him. Some of the cardinals leaned forward to kiss his hand.

In his homily, read by the Vatican deputy secretary of state Leonardo Sandri, John Paul II reminded the prelates that the bright red colour of their new cassocks was meant to symbolise their willingness to die for the faith if necessary.

It "evokes the colour of blood and recalls the heroism of the martyrs. It is the symbol of love for Jesus and for his Church which knows no limit, love until the sacrifice of life".

Newly elevated French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran thanked the Pope saying: "Holy Father, you can count on us."

The list of new cardinals released by the Vatican included one "in pectore" - meaning kept close "in the heart" or secret - the identity of whom the Pope has not revealed. It is usually reserved for those who would be endangered if their identities were known by repressive governments.

At the end of the ceremony watched by thousands, the new cardinals embraced and shook hands.

Twenty-six of them will join the elite group of cardinal-electors who will meet in conclave to elect the next Pope after the death of John Paul II.

The new cardinals will take part in the traditional "Mass of the Rings" in St Peter's Square tomorrow, at which the Pope will present each of them with a ring symbolic of their office.

Pope creates new cardinals (AFP/Daily Telegraph)

Pope installs new cardinals (BBC)
Pope creates new cardinals (AFP/Daily Telegraph)
The numbers game at the Vatican (BBC)
Joy for new Scots cardinal (BBC)
Pope Appoints New Cardinals Who Will Choose Successor (Bloomberg)
Sydney archbishop among those elevated to cardinal (Radio Australia)
Flock of cardinals gathers (AP/CP)
Mexican cardinal-designate known in homeland for loyalty to pope (Catholic News Service)
Swiss cardinal-designate holds privileged position in papal palace (Catholic News Service)
Scottish cardinal defends orthodoxy-- while raising new questions (Catholic World News)
The new cardinal-electors (analysis) (Catholic World News)
69 countries now represented in College of Cardinals (Catholic World News)
New cardinals include one deemed papabile (Catholic World News)
Cardinal Cottier consecrated as bishop before consistory (Catholic World News)
Rome rings with cheers for new Scots Cardinal (Evening Times)
Cardinals are servants to all in order to fulfill their mission (Vatican Information Service)
Titular and diaconate churches of the new cardinals (Vatican Information Service/EWTN)
30 new cardinals elevated (Catholic World News/EWTN)
Pontiff Selects Wide Range of Cardinals (Associated Press/
New cardinal for Scotland (Independent Catholic News)
New cardinals and their titular or diaconate churches named (Independent Catholic News)
Pope appoints Scottish Cardinal (ITV)
New cardinals help make future papal election wide open (Associated Press)
Cardinals to Watch (National Post)
Cardinals to Watch (National Review)
Cardinal-Elect Twice Rejected for Priesthood (The Scotsman)
Pope to end busy week installing new cardinals (Reuters)
Archbishop Made Cardinal (SKY)
'Cardinals unlikely to entrust the Catholic Church to an African' (The Star)
Pope Installs 31 New Cardinals (VOA)
Ailing Pope Installs 30 New Cardinals (Associated Press/Washington Post)
Pope's new cardinals (Daily Telegraph)

22 Oct 2003