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Saturday, February 21, 1998 Published at 15:27 GMT


Pope creates 22 new cardinals

Pope John Paul II has created 22 new cardinals in front of St Peter's Basilica in Rome.

Only 20 of those honoured, however, were in attendance. Two others were created "in pectore" - in secret - for political reasons.

During the ceremony, a Chinese nun, Maria Chang, read a special prayer in Chinese "for all those who suffer because of their Christian faith."

One of the two confidential appointments was believed to be Su Zhimin, bishop of the Chinese city of Baoding who was arrested in October last year.

Those gathered were drawn from 13 countries, reflecting a Vatican policy to internationalise the inner sanctums of the Roman Catholic Church.

Their cities of origin range from Chicago, Toronto, Madrid and Vienna to Dar-es-Salaam and Taiwan.

The most important job for a cardinal is to elect a new pope, and most of the current cardinals were appointed by John Paul II.

The BBC's correspondent, David Willey, reports from Rome (3'48")
The elevations on Saturday at the ceremony known as a consistory increased to 123 the number eligible to vote; John Paul II has named all but 17 of them.

New cardinals are appointed every three or four years.

Reportedly, the known sentiments of the newly-appointed cardinals are in sympathy with the Pope's own by-the-book orthodoxy.

The new batch of cardinals includes several seen as "papabile" - potential popes. Among them are Vienna's new cardinal, Christoph Schoenborn, a highly respected theologian whom the Pope entrusted with preparing the church's new catechism, and Dionigi Tettamanzi of Genoa.

The new cardinals range in age from 53 to 87. With their elevation, the average age of voting cardinals is now 71. Those over 80 will not be entitled to vote in any papal election.

After the ceremony, several days of religious services, audiences, and receptions and banquets follow to honour the new appointees.

A missionary cardinal

[ image: John Paul II swearing in his new cardinals]
John Paul II swearing in his new cardinals
One of the more unusual elevations is that of Adam Kozlowiecki. He is an 87-year-old Pole who survived Auschwitz and Dachau during WWII and became an African missionary.

He rose through the hierarchy there for 24 years, ending as archbishop of Lusaka, but in 1969 he handed over the role to an African prelate and became a missionary in Zambia.

His mission 200 km north of the capital, Lusaka, does not even have a telephone.

"In this eminent company I feel like a hippo in a china shop," Mr Kozlowiecki confided on the eve of his elevation.

"I don't know how to behave. I'm a simple missionary."

The cardinals publicly named

  • Christoph Schoenborn, 54, archbishop of Vienna
  • Dionigi Tettamanzi, 63, archbishop of Genoa, Italy
  • Adam Kozlowiecki, 87, a Polish missionary who is the former archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia
  • Francis Eugene George, 61, archbishop of Chicago
  • James Francis Stafford, 65, former Denver archbishop, now president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity
  • Aloysius Matthew Ambrozic, 68, archbishop of Toronto
  • Norberto Rivera Carrera, 55, archbishop of Mexico City
  • Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, 61, bishop of Madrid
  • Jean Balland, 63, bishop of Lyon, France
  • Salvatore De Giorgi, 67, archbishop of Palermo, Italy
  • Paul Shan Kuo-hsi, 74, archbishiop of Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  • Serafim Fernandes de Araujo, 73, archbishop of Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • Polycarp Pengo, 53, archbishop of Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania
  • Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez, 71, archbishop emeritus of Valparaiso, Chile, and pro-prefect of Congregation for Divine Cult and the Sacraments
  • Alberto Bovone, 75, an Italian archbishop and pro-prefect of Congregation for the Cause of Saints
  • Dario Castrillon Hoyos, 68, archbishop emeritus of Bucaramanga, Colombia, and pro-prefect of Congregation for the Clergy
  • Lorenzo Antonetti, 75, an Italian archbishop and pro-president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See
  • Giovanni Cheli, 89, an Italian archbishop and president of Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants
  • Francesco Colasuonno, 73, an Italian archbishop and apostolic nuncio to Italy
  • Dino Monduzzi, 75, an Italian bishop and prefect of the Papal Household

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