Holy Father Counts on His Cardinals

Receives Newest Additions to College

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 22, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI revealed to the 24 new cardinals of the Church that he counts on their prayers, and their "valuable help."



The Pope said this today upon receiving in audience in Paul VI Hall the new cardinals who were created Saturday, as well as their friends and family.

"With fraternal esteem, I encourage you to continue in your spiritual and apostolic mission, which has experienced a very important stage," he told those present. "Keep your look fixed on Christ, attributing to him every grace and spiritual comfort, on the luminous example of holy cardinals, intrepid servants of the Church who in the course of the centuries have rendered glory to God with heroic exercise of the virtues and tenacious fidelity to the Gospel."

The Holy Father greeted each cardinal in his own language. To the Italian cardinals, he said the "Church that is in Italy has enriched the College of Cardinals with further pastoral wisdom and apostolic enthusiasm."

In French, Benedict XVI recalled that "these celebrations call us to extend our look to the dimensions of the universal Church."

"I invite you to pray for the new cardinals so that in communion with the Successor of Peter they may work effectively for the unity and sanctity of the whole People of God," he said to the friends and families present. "And you, yourselves, be ardent witnesses of the Gospel to give the world the hope of which it is in need and to contribute to the establishment of peace and fraternity everywhere."

To the English-speaking prelates, the Holy Father noted that the "College of Cardinals, whose origin is linked to the ancient clergy of the Roman Church, is charged with electing the Successor of Peter and advising him in matters of greater importance. Whether in the offices of the Roman Curia or in their ministry in the local Churches throughout the world, the cardinals are called to share in a special way in the Pope's solicitude for the universal Church.

"The vivid color of their robes has traditionally been seen as a sign of their commitment to defending Christ's flock even in the shedding of their blood."

The Pontiff asked the faithful to support the new cardinals with "your constant prayers and your cooperation in their efforts to build up the body of Christ in unity, holiness and peace."

After addressing the three German-speaking cardinals individually, Benedict XVI recalled that the "cardinals participate in a particular way in the solicitude of the Successor of Peter for the universal Church. The sign of this is the luminous red of the purple, which evidences the fact that they must be the ones that protect and defend the flock of Christ to the extreme consequences, to the gift of their own blood."

In Spanish, the Pope urged the faithful to "support the new members of the College of Cardinals with your prayer and spiritual closeness so that, moved by intense love of Christ and united in close communion with the Successor of Peter, they may continue to serve the Church with fidelity."
 
In Portuguese, the Holy Father greeted Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, the archbishop of Aparecida, and recalled his "unforgettable" apostolic trip to Brazil in 2007, which he said brought him "profound joy and great ecclesial hope."
 
Finally, the Pontiff greeted in Polish Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, the archbishop of Warsaw, noting that the red hat "obliges to solicitude not only for the local Church, but for the fortunes of the universal Church, as well as close collaboration with the Pope in carrying out the Petrine office."
 
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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-31033?l=english