Daily Trust (Abuja)

25 November 2012

Nigeria: Pope Benedict Consecrates Onaiyekan

Archbishop John Onaiyekan is now John Cardinal Onaiyekan. He is the forth Nigerian to be cardinal.

Before his ordination yesterday, the late Ignatius Ekandem, Francis Arinze and Anthony Okojie had been cardinal.

On Wednesday Oct. 24, 2012, the pope announced names of six new cardinals with Onaiyekan on the list.

Pope Benedict XVI ordained the six cardinals yesterday in Saint Peter's Basilica, the Vatican.

Pope Benedict XVI read each name of the six "princes of the church" in Latin to roaring applause from the pews and smiles from the cardinals themselves.

The new cardinals wore scarlet cassocks - to signify their willingness to shed blood for the church.

During the ceremony, the new cardinals pledged to obey the Pope.

The Pope spoke to them of their new mission as cardinals. He said they must devote themselves totally to the church and to Christ.

In his homily, he asked the faithful to pray for them.

The pope asked that the Lord's spirit support these new cardinals in the commitment of service to the church, even if necessary to shed their blood, always ready to respond to whatever is asked.

A cardinal is a senior official of the Catholic Church. Their main task is to offer the pope advice and eventually elect his successor.

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