VATICAN CITY — The Catholic Church officially has 22 new cardinals, including three from the United States and Canada: Cardinals Timothy M. Dolan of New York; Edwin F. O’Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem and former archbishop of Baltimore, Md.; and Thomas C. Collins of Toronto.
Pope Benedict XVI created the new cardinals, who come from 13 countries, during a consistory this morning in St. Peter’s Basilica. He placed red hats — a three-cornered biretta — on their heads and placed a cardinal’s ring on their fingers.
The basilica was packed and several thousand people had to watch from large video screens set up in St. Peter’s Square.
The pope told the new cardinals that love and service, not an air of greatness, are to mark their lives as cardinals.
“Dominion and service, egoism and altruism, possession and gift, self-interest and gratuitousness: these profoundly contrasting approaches confront each other in every age and place,” he said, but the cardinals must model their lives on that of Jesus, loving others to the point of giving up his life for them.
“He is servant inasmuch as he welcomes within himself the fate of the suffering and sin of all humanity. His service is realized in total faithfulness and complete responsibility toward mankind,” the pope said.
In all things, Pope Benedict said, “the new cardinals are entrusted with the service of love: love for God, love for his church, an absolute and unconditional love for his brothers and sisters, even unto shedding their blood, if necessary,” a fact underlined by the red color of the biretta — a three-cornered hat — and the red cardinal’s robes.