Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pope Inducts 22 Men to Become Catholic Cardinals; Cardinal Dolan of NY May Become 1st American Pope

Pope Benedict XVI -- putting his mark on his Church's future -- today (February 18, 2012) inducted 22 men into the exclusive group of cardinals who will one day elect one of their own to succeed him as leader of the world's 1.3 billion Roman Catholics, according to the Reuters website.

New York's Archbishop Timothy Dolan -- who is already being mentioned by some Vatican experts as a possible future candidate to become the first American pope -- was among the most prominent in the group.

Benedict -- who turns 85 in April and is showing difficulty in walking and other signs of his age -- elevated the men to the highest Church rank below himself at the ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica known as a consistory.

"Cardinals are entrusted with the service of love: love of God, love of Church, an absolute and unconditional love for brothers and sisters, even unto shedding their blood if necessary," the pope told the new cardinals before giving them their rings and red birettas (hats).