It was the first time Benedict attended a papal rite since his
resignation a year ago. His presence offered the remarkable scene of
a former pope, a reigning pope and a potentially future pope in St.
Peter's Basilica at the same time.
Rivalry between factions of the Curia, the Vatican's central
administration, was blamed for the mishaps and scandals that dogged
Benedict's eight-year papacy, capped by the so-called "Vatileaks"
scandal in 2012 in which Benedict's butler stole personal documents
and leaked them to the media.
Cardinals are the pope's closest advisers in the Vatican and around
the world. Apart from being Church leaders in their home countries,
those who are not based in the Vatican are members of key committees
in Rome that decide policies that can affect the lives of 1.2
billion Roman Catholics.
Sixteen of the new appointees are "cardinal electors" who will join
106 existing cardinals who are also under 80 and thus eligible to
enter a conclave to elect a pope from among their own ranks.
They come from Italy, Germany, Britain, Nicaragua, Canada, Ivory
Coast, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea, Chile, Burkina Faso, the
Philippines and Haiti. The non-electors come from Italy, Spain and
Benedict, 86, who was using a cane, came in through a side entrance
and sat quietly wearing a long white overcoat in the front row with
cardinals. When he reached the front of the basilica to start the
ceremony, Pope Francis greeted Benedict, who took off his white
skull cap in a sign of respect and obedience.
Even though the crowd had been asked to refrain from applause during
the ceremony, they clapped when Benedict walked in and again when
his name was mentioned in an address by one of the new cardinals.
Benedict became the first pope to resign in 600 years when he
stepped down on February 28, 2013. Francis was elected the first
non-European pope in 1,300 years two weeks later.
SPIRITUALITY AND SERVICE
Francis gave the red-and-white-garbed cardinals their square hat,
known as a biretta, and their ring of office in the presence of
hundreds of other cardinals and bishops during the solemn ceremony
inside Christendom's largest church.
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He urged them to be men of spirituality and service.
"Whenever a worldly mentality predominates, the result is rivalry,
jealousy, factions," he said.
Francis urged cardinals to remain united. "The Church ... needs you,
your cooperation, and even more your communion, communion with me
and among yourselves," he said.
His choice emphasized his concern for poor countries.
The new cardinal electors are aged 55 to 74. From Latin America are
Archbishop Aurelio Poli, 66, Francis's successor in the Argentine
capital, and the archbishops of Managua in Nicaragua, Rio de Janeiro
in Brazil and Santiago in Chile.
Two are from Africa — the archbishops of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso
and Abidjan in Ivory Coast. From Asia are the archbishops of Seoul
in South Korea and Cotabato in the Philippines.
Archbishop Chibly Langlois, 55, is the first cardinal from Haiti,
the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, where according to
the World Bank some 80 percent of the rural population lives in
abject poverty. The Philippines, Nicaragua, Ivory Coast and Brazil
also have high rates of poverty.
Only four of the cardinal electors are Vatican officials, chief
among them Italian Archbishop Pietro Parolin, 59, Francis's new
secretary of state, and Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, 66, the German
head of the Vatican's doctrinal congregation.
(Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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