02/18/2012, 00.00
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Pope to new cardinals: Mission according to the logic of Christ, not that of the world

Benedict XVI gives the red hat and ring 22 new cardinals. Among them, John Tong, bishop of Hong Kong and George Alencherry, major archbishop of Ernakulam (Kerala, India). The Pope stresses that the logic of Christ – which also should be that of the cardinals - is to serve God and man in "absolute and unconditional dedication, even to the shedding of blood." Canonization of seven Blessed decided, including a Filipino martyr.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The mission of the new cardinals "in the Church and the world" must respond to the logic of Christ, "not to that of the world", it should be "enlightened by faith and animated by the love that comes to us from the glorious Cross of the Lord. " This is the invitation that Benedict XVI addressed to the 22 new cardinals he created today in a public consistory held in the Vatican basilica. Among the new cardinals are important figures of the Roman Curia (including Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples), bishops of the metropolitan sees and personalities who have distinguished themselves for their service to the Church, such as Fr. Julien Ries, a great student of the sacred and religions, at the University of Leuven. Two Asian bishops stand out: John Tong, bishop of Hong Kong and George Alencherry, major archbishop of Ernakulam (Kerala, India). (For the complete list of new cardinals see here).

Before the imposition of the red hat, delivery of the ring and the assignment of title by which every cardinal is associated with the Church of Rome, the pontiff reflected on the Gospel (Mk 10, 32-45) proclaimed during the ceremony. In it, the disciples James and John ask Jesus to be able to sit on the right and left of His throne.

"By their request, - the pope said - James and John demonstrate that they do not understand the logic of the life to which Jesus witnesses, that logic which - according to the Master - must characterize the disciple in his spirit and in his actions. The erroneous logic is not the sole preserve of the two sons of Zebedee because, as the evangelist narrates, it also spreads to "the other ten" apostles who "began to be indignant at James and John" (Mk 10:41). They were indignant, because it is not easy to enter into the logic of the Gospel and to let go of power and glory. "

"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. There is no doubt about the path chosen by Jesus: he does not merely indicate it with words to the disciples of then and of today, but he lives it in his own flesh. He explains, in fact, "For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mk 10:45)".

The mission of the cardinals should be linked to the pope and the Church in the world, modeled on that of Christ: " He receives power and the glory only inasmuch as he is "servant"; but he is servant inasmuch as he welcomes within himself the fate of the suffering and the sin of all humanity. His service is realized in total faithfulness and complete responsibility towards mankind. In this way the free acceptance of his violent death becomes the price of freedom for many, it becomes the beginning and the foundation of the redemption of each person and of the entire human race".

For this reason, " 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, as expressed in the words of placing the biretta and as indicated by the colour of their robes".

Before the conclusion of the consistory, Benedict XVI proclaimed the canonization of seven saints, whose cause was presented by Card. Antonio Amato, prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Among these is a Filipino, Pedro Calungsod, a lay catechist, martyred in 1672.


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