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Rome Reports

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Meet the 24 new cardinals

Other noteworthy appointees are the Archbishop of Aparecida, Brazil, Raymundo Damasceno Assis, Archbishop José Manuel Estepa Llaurens of Spain, Archbishop Emeritus of Quito, Ecuador, Raúl Eduardo Vela Chiriboga, and the Pope?s current delegate to the Legionaries of Christ, Velasio De Paolis.

In total there are 15 Europeans, ten from Italy alone, four Africans, two Americans, two from Latin America and one from Asia.

Among the new cardinals is the Egyptian Antonios Naguib, Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts, and the Archbishop of Warsaw, Poland, Kazimierz Nycz.

The Pope has also appointed senior Vatican officials such as the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints Angelo Amato and the prefect of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi.

From the nominees, four are over 80 years old and therefore can not participate in a conclave. They include the Italians Elio Sgreccia and Domenico Bartolucci, the German Walter Brandmuller and Spaniard José Manuel Estepa Llaurens.

After the consistory, set for November 20th, the college of cardinals will hold 122 electors. Today there are 62 cardinals that have been named by Benedict XVI, 50 with voting powers and ten without.

This is the third consistory that Benedict XVI has celebrated in his papacy. The last was held in November 2007 when he named 23 new cardinals.

The new cardinals will receive the red biretta from the Pope on the 20th of November. The next day they will receive the cardinal?s ring in a solemn ceremony in St. Peter?s Basilica.

Only after completing these ceremonial rites can one enter a conclave.

When a conclave is called to elect a new Pope it is made up of a maximum of 120 cardinals. When a cardinal turns 80 he may retain his title but can no longer participate in a conclave.

Cardinals are identifiable by their red clothing—including their clerical robes the cassock and mozzetta, as well as their hats, the biretta and zucchetto. The color is meant to symbolize the cardinals? willingness “to shed blood for the increase of the Christian faith.”

Cardinals are generally appointed to be members of specific Vatican agencies. They participate in consistories for important Church discussions, in addition to conclaves when selecting a new pope.

The pope is generally chosen from members of the College of Cardinals, though technically any unmarried Catholic male could be chosen.