‘Receive the ring from the hand of Peter’

Pope Benedict XVI places the cardinal’s ring on the hand of Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

VATICAN CITY — The day following the Ordinary Public Consistory that elevated the archbishop of Boston to the College of Cardinals, the new cardinals concelebrated a Mass with Pope Benedict XVI. During the Mass they were given their cardinals’ rings, a sign of their faithfulness to the Holy Father.

For a second day, St. Peter’s Square was filled with dignitaries, clergy members, friends and family of the new cardinals, this time not waving their nations’ flags, but holding banners wishing their shepherds well. In the center aisle hung a large banner that read, “Congratulations Cardinal O’Malley. We love you. Archdiocese of Boston.”

With their golden chasubles gleaming in the sun, the new cardinals processed together with the Holy Father. As during the procession into the consistory, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley stopped to greet well-wishers along the way.

“Today the Mother Church presents the new cardinals,” Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed, explaining that during the Mass each new cardinal would be given a ring “as a sign of fidelity to Peter.”

The rings, similar in design to those given by Pope John Paul II, depict the resurrection of Jesus as described by the Gospel of John. Each of the new cardinals received the golden ring from the hand of the pontiff.

Following the readings — which were proclaimed in English and Spanish, and the Gospel — which was sung in Latin — Pope Benedict delivered his homily.

“For me it is a source of great joy to preside at this concelebration with the new cardinals after yesterday’s consistory,” he began, “and I consider it providential that it should take place on the liturgical Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.”

“In the Incarnation of the Son of God, in fact, we recognize the origins of the Church. Everything began from there,” he declared. “From generation to generation, the wonder evoked by this ineffable mystery never ceases.”

The Virgin Mary’s acceptance of the angel’s message was because “she accepts with personal generosity the wave of God’s love poured out upon her,” Pope Benedict explained.

“What an abundance of light we can draw from this mystery for our lives as ministers of the Church! You above all, dear new cardinals, what great sustenance you can receive for your mission as the eminent ‘senate’ of Peter’s successor,” he stressed.

The Holy Father then spoke of his “beloved predecessor” Pope John Paul II through whose pontificate “the presence of Mary as Mother and Queen of the Church was made manifest to the eyes of all.”

“Everything in the Church, every institution and ministry, including that of Peter and his successors is included under the Virgin’s mantle, within the grace-filled horizon of her ‘yes’ to God’s will,” he stated.

The relationship between the chair of Peter and the Virgin Mary is “found in the symbol of the ring which I am about to consign to you,” Pope Benedict said.

“The ring is always a nuptial sign,” he continued. “The ring which I confer upon you today...is intended to confirm and strengthen that commitment arising once more from a nuptial gift, a reminder to you that first and foremost you are intimately united with Christ so as to accomplish your mission as bridegrooms of the Church.”

“May your acceptance of the ring be for you a renewal of your ‘yes,’ your ‘Here I am,’ addressed both to the Lord Jesus who chose you and constituted you, and to His holy Church, which you are called to serve with the love of a spouse,” the Holy Father prayed.

Pope Benedict then exhorted all those gathered to demonstrate Christian love. “Those who love forget about themselves and place themselves at the service of their neighbor. Here we have the image and model of the Church,” he asserted.

“This is the path along which I chose to launch my pontificate,” he continued, citing his first encyclical, “Deus Caritas Est.” He invited everyone “to build up the Church in charity as a ‘community of love.’”

The Holy Father concluded his homily inviting “all of you, priests, deacons, religious and lay faithful, to join together in invoking the Holy Spirit, praying that the College of Cardinals may be ever more ardent in pastoral charity, so as to help the whole Church to radiate Christ’s love in the world.”

Immediately following the homily, each of the new cardinals approached the Holy Father, who placed the ring on his finger as he recited, “Receive the ring from the hand of Peter and, with the love of the Prince of the Apostles, may your love to the Church be reinforced.”

After the last of the cardinals received his ring, Pope Benedict enjoined them to “go to your individual nations and churches and to your titular churches in the heart of this city...preach the Gospel, build up the Holy Church of God, bless all people and always speak of the peace of Christ.”

Once the Rite of the Rings concluded, the entire assembly sang the Nicene Creed. Then the universal prayers of the Church were proclaimed in French, Korean, Dagaari, German, Slovenian and Portuguese.

As the Liturgy of the Eucharist commenced, the 15 new cardinals approached the altar, to concelebrate the Mass with Pope Benedict XVI.

Hundreds of priests fanned out throughout the assembly in order to distribute Holy Communion. The pontiff himself distributed communion to several invited guests, including Cardinal O’Malley’s stepmother, Claire O’Malley, and his sister Mary Alexsovich.

At the conclusion of the Mass, the new cardinals processed through the main doors of St. Peter’s Basilica, before retiring to the Paul VI hall within the Vatican walls for a celebratory dinner with the entire College of Cardinals and the Holy Father.

<

World
Apostolic visitor outlines plans for expansion at Medjugorje shrine

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- The Polish archbishop tasked with overseeing Bosnia-Herzegovina's Medjugorje shrine has outlined plans for expansion, including ...

World
Pope names administrator as Indian bishop investigated for alleged rape

MUMBAI, India (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the request of an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun to be relieved of his duties during the investigation. In ...

World
In letters to German cardinal, retired pope defends way he stepped down

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI expressed his displeasure with the way a German cardinal publicly criticized his stepping down as pontiff, ...

Nation
Thousands of Hispanics expected in Texas for Encuentro summit

Fort Worth, Texas, Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- As many as 3,000 Catholics of Hispanic background are expected in Texas this week for the National V Encuentro, ...

World
Media reporting Vatican-China agreement could be signed in late September

HONG KONG (CNS) -- The long-awaited Sino-Vatican agreement on the nomination of bishops is expected to be signed in September, reported several media ...

Nation
Church plans third-party abuse reporting system, code of conduct

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pledging to "heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us," the U.S. bishops' Administrative Committee Sept. 19 ...

World
Be grateful to parents, never insult them, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Honoring mothers and fathers means being grateful for the gift of life and Christians should never insult anyone's parents, Pope ...

World
Canadian cardinal: Women should help screen, train priest applicants

Poznan, Poland, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- Increasing the role of women in screening and training priests is among the steps that should be taken to prevent future ...

World
Vatican delegation will travel to China this month to finalize agreement, Chinese newspaper reports

Beijing, China, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to ...

World
Cardinal Marx says mistakes were made, calls for change in German church

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops' conference, admitted that mistakes were made in the German church's handling of sex abuse of minors ...

Nation
Church crisis response: Healing Masses, listening sessions, fasting

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In response to the sexual abuse crisis in the church, Catholics are praying for victims, talking about their frustration and anger, ...

Nation
Pope names Minnesota priest as auxiliary bishop of Hartford

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed Father Juan M. Betancourt, a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as auxiliary bishop ...

World
Listening church: Pope gives new vision for Synod of Bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Synod of Bishops increasingly should be a structure for listening to the Catholic faithful, demonstrating a local bishop's concern ...

Nation
Director of Courage releases letter on Penn. abuse report

Washington D.C., Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Courage International, an apostolate to support people with same sex-attraction in leading chaste lives, has issued ...

Nation
Richmond bishop apologizes to victims; commits to opening, reviewing files

RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) -- In celebrating the Diocese of Richmond's first Mass of Atonement for victims of abuse Sept. 14, Bishop Barry C. Knestout apologized ...

Nation
Stanford University to remove saint's name from some properties

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- California's Stanford University will strip the name of 18th-century Franciscan friar, St. Junipero Serra, from some of its properties ...

Nation
Catholic Charities distributes disaster relief to areas hit by Florence

RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) -- The Carolinas were hard hit with record rainfall and flooding rivers from tropical storm Florence since it made landfall Sept. ...

Nation
Archbishop Lori assures diocese he's with them in journey toward healing

WHEELING, W.Va. (CNS) -- In his celebration of Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling Sept. 15, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said ...

World
Bishop takes a (sky) dive to get pilgrims to Lourdes

HOVE, England (CNS) -- "The Moth has landed," tweeted the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The tweet Sept. 14 and a similar post on the diocesan Facebook ...

World
Words, promises are not enough to prevent abuse, archbishop says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Inviting presidents of the world's bishops' conference to the Vatican to discuss abuse prevention reflects an understanding that ...

World
Pope praises Capuchin order's charism of authenticity, simplicity

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Capuchins are called to be men of peace, reconciliation and prayer and to be close to all people, Pope Francis told members of the ...

Nation
Path to healing starts with seeking forgiveness, Cardinal Wuerl says

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A "Season of Healing" for sexual abuse survivors began in the Archdiocese of Washington with a Sept. 14 Mass at the Cathedral of St. ...

World
Archbishop McCarrick's unofficial role in Vatican-China relations

Vatican City, Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Following reports that the Holy See and the People&rsquo;s Republic of China could be about to sign an agreement ...

Nation
Archbishop Chaput: When we forget faith, we forget our humanity

Spokane, Wash., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- When man tries to cling to reason and separate himself from faith, he forgets who he is and loses his source of hope, ...

World
Pope Francis warns priests against living a double life

Palermo, Italy, Sep 15, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- During a day trip to Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis told priests and religious to fight their vices and strive ...

World
What is the pontifical secret?

Vatican City, Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Following the allegations made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigan&ograve; about the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, ...

World
Vatican publishes list of synod participants, including papal nominees

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To the list of members of the Synod of Bishops elected by national bishops' conferences, Pope Francis added cardinals from 14 countries, ...

Nation
Addicts and their loved ones talk about life with opioid addiction

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) -- It was a Saturday night, and Billy was eating pizza and watching a sporting event in the basement bedroom of his residence, a ...

Nation
Signers of letter hope Vatican meeting will bring needed steps on crisis

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Signers of an open letter from Catholic women to Pope Francis urging "truth" and "transparency" on the growing sex abuse crisis expressed ...

Local
Community 'overwhelmed and shell-shocked' after gas explosions, says pastor

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

World
Down to earth: Vatican brings together world's meteorite curators

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) -- Rocks, mineral debris and even dust from space are kept in special collections, museums and laboratories all over the ...

World
Algerian martyrs to be beatified in Algeria Dec. 8

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The beatification of 19 martyrs of Algeria, including the seven Trappist monks of Tibhirine, will be celebrated Dec. 8 in Oran, ...

Nation
'Anything but a picnic' - Cardinal Dolan on the Church's summer of scandal

New York City, N.Y., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Cardinal Timothy Dolan has spoken about how the extended sexual abuse scandals facing the Church have taken a ...

Local
Restoring and reimagining: Transformation at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross

BOSTON -- Considered by many to be the heart of the Archdiocese of Boston, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is the largest Catholic church in New England, ...

Local
Archdiocese says Cardinal O'Malley will personally review all abuse letters

BRAINTREE (CAN) -- The Archdiocese of Boston has announced changes to the way it will process and respond to letters addressed to Cardinal Séan P. ...

Local
CM receives $2.5M grant from Yawkey Foundations

West Roxbury -- Catholic Memorial, a college-preparatory school for boys in grades 7 to 12, announced Sept. 5 that they have received a $2.5 million grant ...

Local
Father Christian Ohazulume removed from ministry

BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese announced on Sept. 11 that it had removed a priest from ministry after receiving an allegation that he sexually abused a ...

Local
From Cardinal Seán's blog

This week I am in transit to Rome in anticipation of the next meeting of the C9 Council of Cardinals. So, I have asked Vivian Soper to share some reflections ...

Nation
Kavanaugh's birth control comments spur controversy -- What did he say?

Washington D.C. (CNA) -- Opponents of Judge Brett Kavanaugh have suggested that a reference to birth control pills as "abortion-inducing drugs" during ...

Nation
Missouri to enforce abortion regulations in wake of appeals court ruling

Jefferson City, Mo. (CNA) -- Missouri's health department announced Monday that it will immediately being enforcing state laws regulating abortion clinics ...