“The world, with all its resources, is incapable of providing humanity with the light to guide it on its path”, said Pope Benedict XVI Friday marking the Feast of the Epiphany with pilgrims present in St Peter’s Square for the midday Angelus., during which he also announced a consistory for the creation of new cardinals.
“We can see as much in our day”, he continued “Western civilization seems to have lost its way, it is sailing blind. But the Church, through the Word of God, sees through this fog. She does not possess any technical solutions, but keeps Her eyes fixed on the goal, and offers the light of the Gospel to all people of good will, to every nation and culture”.
After the Marian prayer, the pontiff addressed best wishes to the Eastern Churches, which according to the Julian calendar, celebrate Christmas tomorrow. “May every family and every community – the Pope said – be full of the light and peace of Christ the Saviour.”
Before the greetings in different languages, he recalled that today is also the Children’s Missionary Day, organized by the Pontifical Society for Holy Childhood. “Children around the world – said Benedict XVI – gathered in groups, are educated in a missionary awareness and support many projects of solidarity for their peers. Dear children and young people! May your heart be open to the world, like the heart of Jesus, but be mindful also of those who live next to you, always ready to lend them a helping hand. “
And to help the Church in this mission, to his own joy and the joy of thousands gathered in the square below, the Holy Father announced a consistory for February 18th next, during which he will create 22 new Cardinals. 18 of them will be cardinal-electors, which means they are eligible to vote in conclave.
Ten of the Prelates to be elevated to the college of cardinals are drawn from the Curia. Most notably – and first on the list – Archbishop Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples and US native, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, Pro Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
Eight of the cardinals-elect are resident bishops. Of note the names of two North Americans, Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto, Canada, and Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, USA. The Holy Father also named two resident bishops from the great continent of Asia: His Beatitude George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro Malabar (India) and John Tong Hon, Bishop of Hong Kong (China).
Pope Benedict also announced that one bishop and four priests who have distinguished themselves in their commitment to the Church, will be made cardinals in the February consistory although they will not be eligible to vote in conclave having passed the age limit of 80 years. Among these Jesuit Fr. Karl Becker, Professor Emeritus of Dogmatic Theology of the Pontifical Gregorian University.
The Pope concluded by inviting all faithful to pray for them, “asking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, so they may always bear witness with courage and dedication to their love for Christ and his Church.”
Of the 22 cardinals, 16 are from Europe (7 Italian), 4 from the Americas, 2 from Asia.
There are currently 214 members of the College of Cardinals, 125 of whom are eligible to vote in a papal election.
Source: Vatican News