"IN receiving this favour, I am well aware that it is at the same time an honour to England, my native land, to the Archdiocese of Westminster and the Venerable English College," said Cardinal Godfrey on Monday when, in the Ceremonial hall of the Palace of the Apostolic Chancery, he received the biglietto officially informing him of his nomination to the Sacred College.
In the same Palace with the English Cardinal were Cardinal Richaud, Archbishop of Bordeaux, and Cardinal Jullien, Dean of the Tribunal of the Sacred Roman Rota.
About 300 people filled the hall in which Cardinal Godfrey and Cardinal Richaud sat side by side. Those present included the British Minister to the Holy See. Sir Marcus Cheke. young seminarians of the English College (where Cardinal Godfrey had spent 16 years). the Beda College and the Scots and French Colleges.
It was barely mid morning following the Secret Consistory when the Papal messenger arrived going first to Mgr. Godfrey who handed the Nemo to Mgr. Gerard Tickle, Rector of the English College, to open and read aloud.
The reading of the notification was greeted by loud applause. Cardinal Godfrey then gave his address of thanks--thanking the Holy Father for " this most signal honour . however unworthy I may be of such august consideration. In admitting me to membership of the Sacred College, His Holiness has brought me closer to the throne of Peter . . ."
The new Cardinal recalled Cardinal Allen who founded the English College; he recalled Wiseman and Hinsley "whom I have had the honour and privilege to follow both in the office of Rectorship of the College and in the important archdiocese which the late Holy Father entrusted to my pastoral care."
He then spoke of Ushaw "to which I owe so much for the formation received there in my earliest years and for the powerful impress which its spirit of piety, devotion and loyalty to the Apostolic See left on my heart and mind."
Cardinal Godfrey then referred to Cardinal Merry del Val. another former Ushaw student, Protector irurslIsuritamali
of the College, and whose cause for beatification may be opened. And he spoke of " Our English Cardinal, St. John Fisher."
" I would wish today to ask the intercession of that great servant of God," he said, "In his person we can admire u spirit which filled the hearts of our devoted Catholics in years when the Church of God in our land was bitterly assailed by those who wished to sever the link with the Apostolic See."
"Today," he added, "the progress of the Church in our country is proof that the effort was unavailing . . ."
The Cardinal spoke of the " interest and sympathy aroused in England by the death of the late Holy Father and the election of his successor, Pope John XXIII." This, he said, " is without doubt indicative of the fact that the Papacy is once more being seen by people of all faiths in its right perspective."
After Cardinal Godfrey had received his higlieno, the Papal messenger passed in turn to Cardinal Richaud and then, to the adjoining Council Chamber to Cardinal Jullien whose notification was read by Mgr. William Heard of Edinburgh, Auditor of the Rota, in the presence of black and silver robed judges, members of the Rota, Dominicans, and others.
Later, as Cardinal Godfrey received congratulations from other members of the Sacred College, a hundred students of the English College stood at the door as each Cardinal was escorted in by four students carrying big candles. As the cardinals left they were applauded.
Cardinal Godfrey received visitors at the English College. First to arrive was Cardinal Pizzardo, then Sir Marcus Cheke, Cardinal Wyszynski, and Wing Commander Grant Ferris, M.P.
He received the last visite di adore (congratulatory visit) on Tuesday when several Cardinals, other Church prelates and diplomatic envoys called on him.
Tonight (Friday), the Cardinal will attend a reception at the Gregorian University. On Saturday he will he present at a reception gjven by the Italian Ambassador to the Holy See. On Monday, Sir Marcus Cheke, British Minister to the Holy See, will give a reception in honour of the new Cardinal.
Before returning home, Cardinal Godfrey will give a reception at the English College on December 28. He will be solemnly received at Westminster Cathedral in the presence of many of the Hierarchy, on Wednesday, December 31.
Twenty-one of the 23 new Cardinals were in Rome this week and were due to receive their red hats
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