Page 1, 28th May 1976

28th May 1976
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Page 1, 28th May 1976 — OUR NEW CARDINAL

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Locations: Rome, Leeds, London, Liverpool, Hanoi


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From Michael Wilson in Rome POPE PAUL this week formally admitted 20 new cardinals, including Archbishop George Basil Hume of Westminster, into the ranks of the Sacred College of Cardinals of the Catholic Church.

The 20th cardinal to be elevated, the Pope revealed in a last-minute announcement, was Archbishop Giuseppe Maria Trin-Nhu-Khue of Hanoi, one of the two he had declared last month as in pectore.

Cardinal Hume, the tallest of the new cardinals, received long applause from 6,000 people in the Vatican's new audience hall as he climbed the steps to kneel at the Papal Throne.

Pope Paul placed the red skullcap on Cardinal Hume's head and, as he set the red biretta on top of the skullcap, the told the new Cardinal that this red biretta signified that as cardinal he should be ready to shed his blood in defence of the Faith, the Church and the Papacy.

Letters of authorisation

Pope Paul then gave Cardinal Hume his personal blessing and handed him a scroll designating his titular church in Rome — the Church of San Silvestro in Capite. the former titular church of the late Cardinal Heenan, which serves English language residents and visitors to Rome.

The three-hour ceremony began in the audience hall at 10,30 when Cardinal Jean Villot, Holy See Secretary of State, left the secret consistory with the papal letters of authorisation for the new cardinals.

These he presented one by one as the new members of the Sacred College, wearing scarlet cassocks and sashes, were escorted before him by papal ushers.

Only the Archbishop of Hanoi, who had flown in from North Vietnam last night too late to obtain his vestments. wore episcopal purple cassock but had borrowed a red sash.

Standing ovation

The new Cardinals then filed out of the audience hall to don choir robes and red capes, returning to the seats in the ; front row of the audience hall just after the Cardinals who had taken part in the secret consistory entered the hall.

A five-minute standing ovation greeted Pope Paul as he was carried down the centre aisle of the audience hall in his gestatorial chair. The Pope seemed in better health than in previous weeks and needed almost no assistance in climbing the 15 steps to the throne, where he turned and flung his arms wide in greeting to all present. Cardinal Octavio Antonio Betas Rojas, Archbishop of San Domingo, spoke on behalf of all the new Cardinals, pledging their complete obedience to the Pope: "We, the new Cardinals, pledge . .

Promise of obedience

Pope Paul, expressing his gratitude fu c this pledge, welcomed the presence of official government delegations and of all those who had accompanied the new Cardinals to the ceremony.

He described the ceremony as a "vis ual representation of that collegiality which was placed in a new light by the Second Vatican Council," and added: "Hence finally the highest and supreme meaning of today's ceremony — fidelity. In the oath that you will presently take, venerable brothers, are lofty, serious, enlightening and tremendous words:

" 'I promise and I swear that from this hour on, as long as

live, I will be faithful to Christ and to his Gospel, and I promise obedience to Blessed Peter and to the Holy Apostolic Roman Church.' " Pope Paul reminded them: "In receiving the red biretta, you will recall it indicates 'that you must show that you are fearless even to thc shedding of your blood for the increase of the Christian Faith, for the peace and tranquillity of the People of God, and for the freedom and advancement of the Holy Roman Church.' ",

Gesture of humility

Following the Pope's addres; and before receiving the skullcaps and birettas, the new Cardinals in unison recited the Creed and then, again in unison but each using his own name, swore fidelity and obedience to the Pope and to his successors:

"I, George Basil Hume, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, promise and swear to remain, now and for ever while I live, faithful to Christ and to his Gospel, constantly obedient to the Holy Apostolic Roman Church, to Blessed Peter in the person of the Supreme Pontiff Paul VI and to his successors canonically elected . . "

Granting of Pallium

Last to receive the skullcap and biretta was Cardinal TrinNhu-Khue, Archbishop of Hanoi. As he knelt before the throne, Pope Paul rose to his feet, his arms opened wide, in an unusual gesture of humility and honour for the prelate who had suffered much under North Vietnam Communism.

Cardinal Hume wore the cardinalate robes inherited from his predecessors Cardinal Heenan and Cardinal Griffin. At Monday's ceremony he wore the episcopal cross with a cord — traditional when wearing a choir robe — left to Westminster by Cardinal Griffin. At Monday's secret consistory, official requests were made for papal granting of the pallium, or white woollen band of metropolitan jurisdiction. Mgr Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Rector of the Venerable English College in Rome, acted as procurator for Archbishop Derek Worlock of Liverpool and received the pallium for him on Tuesday.

Cardinal Hume received well-wishers and friends for the traditional few minutes of private talk in a room of the Cancelleria, the Holy See's former Chancellery Office.

On Thursday the new Cardinals concelebrated Mass with Pope Paul at the Altar of the Confession in St Peter's and were given their Cardinalate rings by the Pope. The British Minister to the Holy See, Mr Duncan Malcolm, gave a reception on Monday evening for Cardinal Hume, and the English College held a luncheon in his honour on Thursday.

Possession of church

Cardinal James Itobert Knox, Prefect of the Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship; Bishop William Gordon Wheeler of Leeds; the Benedictine Abbot Primate Rembert Weakland, and Mr Malcolm were among those present. Tomorrow, the English College will hold a public reception for Rome's English residents in honour of the new Westminster Cardinal. Cardinal Hume is scheduled to take possession of his Titular Church of St Sylvester on Sunday and to fly back to London that evening.

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