February 19, 2012.
) During a special Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, Benedict XVI
welcomed the 22 newly created cardinals
, along with different ambassadors to the Holy See, and hundreds of pilgrims.
The pope took this chance to highlight the role of the Church in today's world. He noted that each one of them must show the joy of faith as part of a journey that doesn't end in a cathedral or a Sunday sermon.Benedict XVI“The Church does not exist for her own sake, she is not the point of arrival, but she has to point upwards, beyond herself, to the realms above.”
The meeting of Catholic hierarchy also served as a good time for the pope to discuss the role of the successor of Peter. Because those present would be responsible for electing the next pontiff
Benedict XVI said his criteria for filling the chair would point toward love, something he said was necessary in all of them as successors of the apostles. Benedict XVI“The Chair is placed in a prominent position in this place, because this is where Saint Peter’s tomb is located, but this too tends towards the love of God. Indeed, faith is oriented towards love.”
Before sending these new cardinals off with their new position in the Church, the pope said that each one of them is charged with a special responsibility.Benedict XVI“This is your task in particular, dear brother Cardinals: to bear witness to the joy of Christ’s love.”
The Sunday Mass was celebrated on the feast day for the Chair of St. Peter. The replica was created by the Italian artist and sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini
in the mid 17th century. Every year on this day, the statue of St. Peter by Arnoflo di Cambio
, is dressed in the clothes of the pope.