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Monday, February 20, 2012


Vatican City, 20 February 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received the twenty-two new cardinals created in the recent consistory, accompanied by members of their families and other faithful who had come with them to Rome. The Pope spoke to each group in its own language, concluding with some words in Italian addressed to them as a whole.

Speaking French he said that "our society, which experiences moments of uncertainty and doubt, has need of Christ's clarity. May each Christian bear witness with faith and courage, and may the imminent period of Lent favour a return towards God".

Turning then to address the groups as a whole, the Holy Father highlighted how the creation of new cardinals "is an opportunity to reflect upon the universal mission of the Church in the history of man. In human affairs, which are often agitated and confused, the Church is always alive and present, bringing Christ: light and hope for all humankind. Remaining united to the Church and to the message of salvation she bears, means anchoring ourselves in truth, reinforcing a sense of true values, remaining serene whatever happens.

"I exhort you, then", the Pope added in conclusion, "always to remain united to your pastors, and to the new cardinals, in order to be in communion with the Church. Unity in the Church is a divine gift which must be defended and developed. I entrust you, dear brother cardinals, and the faithful accompanying you, to the protection of the Mother of God and of the Apostles Peter and Paul".

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