Fifteen Cardinals elevated
Oath of loyalty pledged before Pope at the Vatican
15 new Cardinals are elevated in Saint Peters Square, Vatican.
March 24, 2006
Rome - In an historic ceremony beamed instantaneously
around the world, Pope Benedict XVI formally installed fifteen
new Cardinals in St. Peter's Square today.
Calling on his closest coadjutors, Pope Benedict spelled out
his vision for his ministry during a rite known as 'Consistory
of Cardinals', a tradition dating back to 1059.
Addressing a crowd estimated at 15,000 under a sky holding back
rain, Pope Benedict compared the College of Cardinals to "a
kind of senate" with the responsibility of accomplishing
the tasks set forth by Saint Peter.
"I am counting on you, dear brother Cardinals to ensure
that the principle of love will spread far and wide, and will
give new life to the Church at every level of her hierarchy,"
the Pope said.
"I am counting on you to secure our path towards the full
unity of Christians. I am counting on you to see to it that the
Church's solicitude for the poor and needy challenges the world
with a powerful statement on the civilization of love."
William H. Levada, former U.S. Archbishop and Archdiocese of
San Francisco was first to be appointed Cardinal. A close friend
of the Pope, Levada replaced Jospeph Ratzinger in the position
of head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the
Church body that oversees Catholic doctrine, shortly following
Ratzinger made Pope.
Levada betroths loyalty before the Pope.
Before receiving his "biretta", a red hat signifying
cardinal status and symbolizing willingness to shed blood for
the Church., Levada praised Ratzinger for bringing "brightness"
and "serenity" to the pontificate.
Levada receives his biretta from the Pope.
There are 193 members in the College of Cardinals, 73 are over
80 years old making them ineligible for pontiff nomination during
A private reception recognizing Cardinal Levada will convene
later today, organized by San Francisco delegation lead, Joe Alioto-Veronese.
The reception will be attanded by up to 70 San Francisco delegates,
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, and Cardinal Levada.