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Monday, November 26, 2012


Vatican City,  (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall the Holy Father received the new cardinals created in the consistory of Saturday 24 November, and their families.

The Pope noted how the consistory had been characterised by "moments of intense prayer and deep communion, experienced in the awareness that it was an event concerning the entire universal Church, called upon to be a sign of hope for all peoples".

Then, speaking in English, he stated that "whether in the offices of the Roman Curia or in their ministry in the local Churches throughout the world, cardinals are called to share in a special way the Pope's solicitude for the universal Church".

He then addressed the new cardinal, Bechara Boutros Rai, patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, expressing his wish to encourage "the life and the presence of Christians in the Middle East, where they should be able to live their faith freely", and he made a fresh appeal for peace in the region. "The Church encourages every effort to promote peace in the world and in the Middle East - peace that will be effective only if it is based on authentic respect for others", he said.

He then spoke in Spanish to Colombian faithful and the new cardinal, Ruben Salazar Gomez, archbishop of Bogota, encouraging them to "move forward in peace and harmony along the paths of justice, reconciliation and solidarity".

Finally, in Italian, he invited the cardinals to pursue their "spiritual and apostolic mission, looking always to Christ", and to strengthen their "love for the Church. We can learn this love from the saints, who are the truest fulfilment of the Church: they loved her and, allowing themselves to be modelled by Christ, dedicated their lives fully to ensuring that all mankind be illuminated by the light of Christ that shines from the face of the Church".

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