Filed in Religion & Spiritual by on November 22, 2010

Pomp as Pope creates 24 new cardinals
Monday, 22 November 2010 00:00 Editor News – World

CATHOLIC head, Pope Benedict XVI, has formally created 24 new cardinals amid cheers in St. Peter’s Basilica, bringing a mostly Italian group into the elite club that would eventually elect his successor.
The new cardinals include heads of Vatican congregations, archbishops of major cities in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas, and retired prelates honored for their lifelong service to the church.
Their numbers bring the College of Cardinals to 203 – about 121 of whom are under age 80 and thus eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope.
Eight of the new voting-age cardinals are Italian, seriously boosting the Italian bloc and leading to some speculation that the papacy might eventually swing back to an Italian following a Polish and German pope.
Speaking in Latin, Benedict, according to the Associated Press (AP), read out each of the names of the new “princes of the church” at the start of the Mass, eliciting roaring applause from the pews and smiles from the cardinals themselves.
Wearing their new scarlet cassocks – to signify their willingness to shed blood for the church – the cardinals processed first into the basilica, waving to well-wishers as organ music thundered in a festive yet solemn atmosphere.
The basilica was awash in red as some 150 cardinals from around the world came to Rome for the occasion of welcoming in their newest members.
Benedict, 83, told the men of their new mission as cardinals, saying they must devote themselves totally to the church and to Christ. In his homily, he asked the faithful to pray for them, saying:
“Let the Lord’s spirit support these new cardinals in the commitment of service to the church, following Christ of the Cross even if necessary to shed their blood, always ready … to respond to whatever is asked.”
The senior new cardinal, Angelo Amato, who heads the Vatican’s saint-making office, told Benedict at the start of the Mass of the “stupor” each one of the men feels to have been chosen.
Meanwhile, health groups yesterday said the pope’s positive comments about condom use by male prostitutes would help fight the AIDS crisis,  although they cautioned that his remarks fell short of declaring condoms an acceptable method of disease prevention for all.
Speaking to a German journalist whose book was excerpted in a Vatican newspaper over the weekend, the pontiff reiterated that condoms are not a moral solution for stopping AIDS. But he added that in some cases, such as for male prostitutes, their use could represent a first step in assuming moral responsibility “in the intention of reducing the risk of infection.”
“This is a significant and positive step forward taken by the Vatican today,” the UN’s top AIDS official said. “This move recognizes that responsible sexual behavior and the use of condoms have important roles in HIV prevention.”
A UNAIDS spokesman in Geneva said that while over 80 per cent of HIV infections are caused through sexual transmission, only four per cent to 10 per cent result from sex between men. There are no reliable statistics about how many infections might be prevented if male prostitutes routinely used condoms, said Mahesh Mahalingam.
However, even the limited example cited by the pope was a step in the right direction, said Mahalingam. “We are welcoming this as an opening up of discussion,” he said.
In South Africa, which has an estimated 5.7 million HIV-positive citizens – more people than any other country – and 500,000 new infections each year, activists guardedly greeted the Pope’s message.
Caroline Nenguke of the Treatment Action Campaign, a Cape Town, South Africa-based advocacy group for people living with HIV, called the Pope’s words a “step in the right direction.”
But she said the message was unclear, and could lead to misinterpretation.
“It shows that only male prostitutes should use condoms and could make people in heterosexual relations think they are not allowed to (use) them,” she said.


Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Nigerian free classifieds
Forum | Jobs | News | Privacy | Contact: nbf(at)nigerianbestforum.com