FLORENCE, ITALY – Pope Benedict XVI has inducted 22 new Catholic churchmen into the elite club of cardinals who will elect his successor. Benedict presided over the ceremony this morning (Saturday) in St. Peter’s Basilica to formally “create” the new cardinals. He includes the archbishops of New York, Hong Kong, Prague and Florence, Italy.
Florence Archbishop Giuseppe Betori was among those who were officially elevated to the new role. Betori, 65 next saturday, was Secretary General of the CEI from April 2001 to October 2008 and appointed archbishop of the Tuscan city in September 2008. About two months ago he suffered an attack in gunshots and was not hurt.
“As I bring these brief reflections to a close – said the Holy Father in the Offical Address -, I would like to extend warm greetings and thanks to all present, especially to the official Delegations from various countries and to the various diocesan groups. The new Cardinals, in their service, are called to remain faithful to Christ at all times, letting themselves be guided only by his Gospel.”