Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The College of Cardinals "presents a variety of faces, because it expresses the face of the universal Church. In this Consistory, in particular, I want to highlight in particular the fact that the Church is the Church of all peoples, and so she speaks in the various cultures of different continents. She is the Church of Pentecos: amid the polyphony ofthe various voices, she raises a single harmonious song to the living God."
This is a a part of the homily Holy Father Benedict XVI delivered during the Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of six new cardinals, held on Saturday morning, November 24 in the Vatican Basilica. The new Cardinals are Mgr. James Michael Harvey, Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls; His Beatitude Bechara Boutros Rai, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites (Lebanon); His Beatitude Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, Major Archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankars (India); Mgr. John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja (Nigeria); Mgr. Ruben Salazar Gomez, Archbishop of Bogotá (Colombia); Mgr. Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila (Philippines).
Focusing on the catholicity of the Church, "Catholic because Christ in his saving mission embraces all humanity," the Pope among other things said: "The Church’s universal mission does not arise from below, but descends from above, from the Holy Spirit: from the beginning it seeks to express itself in every culture so as to form the one People of God. Rather than beginning as a local community that slowly grows and spreads outwards, it is like yeast oriented towards a universal horizon, towards the whole: universality is inscribed within it."
On Sunday, November 25, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King, the Holy Father Benedict XVI presided at a Concelebrated Mass in the Vatican Basilica with the six new Cardinals, and in the homily, commenting on the readings of the day, pointed out that "Jesus has no political ambition ... Jesus speaks of kings, kingship, yet he is not referring to power, but to truth ... Jesus came to reveal and bring a new kingship, that of God, came to testify to the truth of a God, who is love and who wants to establish a kingdom of justice, love and peace." Then, pointing to the new Cardinals, said that they "are entrusted this demanding responsibility: to bear witness to the kingdom of God, to the truth. This means working to bring out ever more clearly the priority of God and his will over the interests of the world and its powers."
Even before reciting the Angelus, the Holy Father returned to the meaning of the Solemnity of Christ the King: "The whole mission of Jesus and the content of his message consist in proclaiming the Kingdom of God and its practical application in the midst of men with signs and wonders ... The Kingdom of Christ was given to the Church, which is 'seed' and 'beginning' and has the duty to proclaim and spread it among all nations by the power of the Holy Spirit " The Pope continued: "All of us are called to prolong the saving work of God converting ourselves to the Gospel, placing ourselves firmly in the wake of the King who came not to be served but to serve, and to give witness to truth." Finally, he invited everyone to pray for the six new Cardinals, "so that the Holy Spirit strengthens them in faith and charity and fills them with its gifts, so that they live their new responsibilities as a further commitment to Christ and his Kingdom. These new members of the College of Cardinals well represent the universal dimension of the Church: they are Pastors of churches in Lebanon, India, Nigeria, Colombia, the Philippines, and one of them has long been at the service of the Holy See. Let us invoke the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary on each of them and on the faithful entrusted to their service. " (SL) (Agenzia Fides 26/11/2012)