On the feast of the Epiphany, during his midday Angelus address, Pope Benedict XVI announced the creation of 22 new Cardinals. Amongst the Cardinal-designates are two former rectors of the Pontifical North American College, namely, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien (1990-1994) Pro Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, and Archbishop Timothy Dolan (1994-2001) of New York.
The Consistory, at which the Holy Father will formally appoint the Cardinal-designates to the College of Cardinals, will take place on February 18 at St Peter’s Basilica. At the ceremony, the Holy Father will present the Cardinal-designates with their rings, zuchetti, and birette. Afterwards, there will be a reception at the North American College for the newly created American Cardinals, followed by a general reception that evening for all the newly created Cardinals at the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican. The following day there will be a Mass of Thanksgiving with the Holy Father and the newly appointed Cardinals at St Peter’s Basilica.
The new appointments will raise the total number of Cardinals to 214, with around half of that number being from Europe. At present, the United States has 17 Cardinals, 10 of whom are retired.
The North American College congratulates Cardinals-elect O’Brien and Dolan.
Ad Multos Annos!