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Friday, November 19, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 19 NOV 2010 (VIS) - As part of the consistory during which the Holy Father will create twenty-four new cardinals, the College of Cardinals is today meeting in the Vatican's New Synod Hall to hold a day of reflection and prayer.

  The meeting began at 9.30 a.m. with a greeting from the Pope who focused his remarks on the two themes of the morning session. Considering the first of these themes, he noted that the Lord's command to announce the Gospel implicitly embraces the need for the freedom to do so, although, over the course of history, it has encountered various forms of opposition. The relationship between truth and freedom is essential but today faces the great challenge of relativism, which seems to complete the concept of freedom but which actually risks destroying it and becoming an authentic 'dictatorship'. We are then, he suggested, facing a difficult period in our commitment to affirm the freedom to announce the truth of the Gospel and the great achievements of Christian culture. The Pope also recalled the essential importance of liturgy in Church life, being the place of God's presence with us.

  The cardinals then turned their attention to the two chosen themes: the situation of religious freedom in the world and new challenges, with an introductory talk by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., and the liturgy in the life of the Church today, with a preliminary contribution from Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

  Cardinal Bertone presented a panoramic overview of current attempts to restrict the freedom of Christians in various parts of the world, inviting people to reflect on the situation of religious freedom in Western States. We are witnessing, he said, a process of secularisation accompanied by attempts to remove spiritual values from social life. The Cardinal Secretary of State also elucidated the situation of religious freedom in Muslim countries, recalling the conclusions reached during the recent Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops. Finally, he explained the activities the Holy See and local episcopates make to defend Catholics, in both East and West. On this subject he also recalled the great efforts made by the Holy See in the international arena to promote respect for the religious freedom of believers.

  For his part, Cardinal Canizares Llovera focused his remarks on the importance of liturgical prayer in the life of the Church.

  In the course of a broad-ranging debate, eighteen cardinal arose to speak of the great difficulties the Church has to face today in defending values founded on natural law, such as respect for life and the family. Another question examined was that of inter-religious dialogue, in particular with Islam.

  Two further contributions are scheduled for the afternoon session. The first, to be delivered by Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will focus on Holy See norms for welcoming Anglican priests and faithful who request to be admitted to the Catholic Church, and for defending victims of child abuse by members of the clergy. The second contribution, by Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, will serve to recall the validity of the Instruction "Dominus Iesus" on Jesus Christ our only Saviour, published ten years ago.
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VATICAN CITY, 19 NOV 2010 (VIS) - At 10.30 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday 20 November, the Pope will hold an ordinary public consistory for the creation of twenty-four new cardinals.

  The consistory for the creation of new cardinals, according to the new rite introduced during the consistory of 28 June 1991, is structured as follows:

  Following a liturgical greeting, the Pope reads the formula of creation, and solemnly proclaims the names of the new cardinals. The first of the new cardinals then addresses the Holy Father on behalf of them all.

  This is followed by the Liturgy of the Word, the Pope's homily, the Profession of Faith and the taking of the oath by each cardinal.

  Each new cardinal then approaches the Holy Father and kneels before him to receive the cardinal's biretta and to be assigned a title or deaconry.

  The Pope places the biretta on the cardinal's head and pronounces a formula which includes the following words: "(This is) red as a sign of the dignity of the office of a cardinal, signifying that you are ready to act with fortitude, even to the point of spilling your blood for the increase of the Christian faith, for peace and harmony among the people of God, for freedom and the spread of the Holy Roman Catholic Church".

  The Holy Father hands over the Bull of Creation as cardinal, assigns the title or deaconry and exchanges a kiss of peace with the new members of the College of Cardinals. The cardinals also exchange such a sign among themselves.

  The rite concludes with the Prayer of the Faithful, the recitation of the Our Father and the final blessing.

  At 9.30 a.m. on Sunday 21 November, Solemnity of Christ the King, the Holy Father will preside at a concelebrated Mass with the new cardinals, during which he will give them the cardinal's ring, "the sign of dignity, pastoral care and the most solid communion with the See of Peter."

  As he places the ring on the new cardinal's finger, the Pope says: "Take this ring from the hand of Peter and know that, with the love of the Prince of the Apostles, your love for the Church is strengthened."

  Following tomorrow's ceremony, the College of Cardinals will have 203 members, of whom 121 are electors. The members of the College, by continent of origin, are divided as follows: 111 from Europe, 21 from North America, 31 from South America, 17 from Africa, 19 from Asia and 4 from Oceania.
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VATICAN CITY, 19 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Yesterday the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, Germany.
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