It’s truly remarkable that the Roman Catholic Church, this corrupt organization of misfits, is still in business and still popular. Throughout the ages this church has been guilty of all kinds of crimes against humanity, not the least of which are the tortures of the Inquisition and the sexual abuse of children. By the way, let’s not forget the church’s alliance with brutal dictators such as Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, just this past century. If this is not a testament to the ignorance and stupidity of the masses that support this church I don’t know what is. I suppose the overwhelming majority of humans possess a weakness of character as well as a willingness to surrender their intelligence, limited as it may be, to blind faith. What a pity. TGO
Refer to story below. Source: Reuters
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict installed 24 new Roman Catholic cardinals from around the world on Saturday in his latest batch of appointments that could include his successor as leader of the 1.2 billion member church.
As their national delegations cheered, the men were elevated to their new rank as top advisers to the pope at a solemn ceremony in St Peter’s Basilica known as a consistory.
Each of the 24 men swore their loyalty to him, to future popes and to the church, even if it meant giving their lives.
Twenty of the new cardinals are under 80 and thus eligible under church rules to take part in the conclave that chooses a successor after the death or resignation of the current pope.
The new cardinals include Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington D.C., who, as a senior figure in the American capital, will likely play a leading role in the U.S. church’s response to the sexual abuse scandal.
At a pre-consistory meeting on Friday, the Vatican told
bishops they would have to take more responsibility to prevent sexual abuse of children by priests and said it was preparing new guidelines for bishops on how to deal with the sexual abuse, including cooperation with local authorities.
The German pope has now named 50 of the 121 electors who can pick his successor from among their own ranks, raising the possibility that the next pontiff will be a conservative in Benedict’s own image.
In his homily before he bestowed each new cardinal with the red hat of their office, known as a berretta, Benedict told them their role was “not to be served, but to serve” and urged them to shun “the logic of power.”
He told the cardinals, the pope’s closest advisers at the Vatican and around the world, that “in the church, no one is an owner” but all are called to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ.
Popes usually reign for life but Benedict, 83, has not ruled out the possibility of resigning for health reasons. The last time a pope resigned willingly was in the 13th century.
RE-ITALIANISATION OF CURIA?
The 24 new cardinals come from Italy, Guinea, Poland, Switzerland, Egypt, the United States, Spain, Germany, Zambia, Ecuador, Democratic Republic of Congo, Brazil and Sri Lanka.
Eleven of the new electors are European, eight of them Italian, giving Europeans a small majority of 62 if a conclave where held soon.
A number of new cardinals run Vatican departments. These include arch-conservative American Archbishop Raymond Burke, who heads a top Vatican tribunal, and Kurt Koch, the Swiss head of the Vatican department on relations with other Christian religions and Jews.
Benedict’s choice of the new cardinals is seen by some observers as “re-Italianization” of the curia, the Roman Catholic Church’s central government, following a string of appointments of non-Italians by his predecessor John Paul.
The latest batch of appointments takes the regional blocs in the electoral college to: Europe-62 cardinals; Latin America-21; North America-15; Africa-12; Asia-10; Pacific region-1.
The largest national group is the Italians, with 25 cardinals eligible to elect a new pope, followed by the United States, with 13.
But most observers say the possibility of the next pope being American is virtually nil because the conclave would be loathe to give an office as influential as the papacy to someone from the world’s superpower.
(Editing by Tim Pearce)