Toronto archbishop one of 22 new cardinals

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Thomas Collins the 16th Canadian to join elite group

CBC News

Posted: Feb 18, 2012 5:46 AM ET

Last Updated: Feb 18, 2012 7:21 AM ET

Pope Benedict XVI has inducted 22 new Catholic churchmen into the elite club of cardinals who will elect his successor amid signs the 84-year-old pontiff is slowing down.

Benedict presided over the ceremony Saturday in St. Peter’s Basilica to formally create the new cardinals, who include the archbishops of New York, Prague, Berlin, Hong Kong and Florence, Italy, as well as the heads of some key Vatican offices.

Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins was also among those who were officially elevated to the new role. Collins, 65, was ordained as a priest in 1973 and appointed archbishop of Toronto in 2007.

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he arrives to preside over a consistory in St. Peter's basilica at the Vatican.

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he arrives to preside over a consistory in St. Peter’s basilica at the Vatican. (Andrew Medichini/Associated Press)

Cardinals are the Pope’s closest aides, but only those under age 80 can take part in the election of a new pope after the death of Benedict, who turns 85 in April.

The weekend ceremony leaves the church with 214 cardinals — 125 now eligible to vote in a papal election, a number that increased by 18 with Saturday’s ceremony, known as a consistory.

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty led an official Canadian government delegation to the ceremony, accompanied by Minister of Immigration and Citizenship Jason Kenney and Associate Minister of Defence Julian Fantino.

‘He’s an excellent communicator, and that’s good for the church. It’s good for our country around the world.’—Finance Minister Jim Flaherty

“I’ve known the cardinal since he came to Toronto five years ago or so. He is a very humble man. He’s very good with relating to people. He is also a very thoughtful person, a great reader, a reflective person — and that comes through in his homilies and his statements to people and his communications here,” Flaherty told CBC News.

“I was with him last night and with him again this afternoon, and we’ve been celebrating his elevation to the College of Cardinals. He’s an excellent communicator, and that’s good for the church. It’s good for our country around the world,” Flaherty said.

“On the occasion of this great honour for Catholics throughout Canada, I wish our country’s newest cardinal all the best in his continued ministry,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement.

Collins, who was born in Guelph, Ont., is now the 16th Canadian cardinal in the history of the church. Only two other Canadian cardinals are alive — Marc Ouellet of Quebec City and Jean-Claude Turcotte of Montreal.

Pledge to keep church secrets

Preparations for the ceremony were clouded by embarrassing leaks of internal documents alleging financial mismanagement in Vatican affairs, and reports in the Italian media of political jockeying among church officials who, sensing an increasingly weak pontiff, are already preparing for a conclave.

“In the past month there have been a number of leaks of Vatican documents by different sources,” freelance journalist Megan Williams told CBC News. “One of the more alarmist ones is a document saying that the Pope would be assassinated within the next year.”

Italian media carried reports saying a cardinal wrote a secret note to a superior in the Vatican that he had heard about a plot to kill the Pope. The Vatican dismissed those reports as “delirious.”

None of the reported tension at the Vatican was on display Saturday, however, amid the pomp of the consistory.

That said, each of the new cardinals did make a solemn pledge to keep church secrets upon accepting their new title, ring and three-pointed red hat, or biretta, from the Pope.

Reciting the cardinals’ traditional oath of loyalty, each one pledged to remain faithful to the church and to “not to make known to anyone matters entrusted to me in confidence, the disclosure of which could bring damage or dishonour to Holy Church.”

In remarks at the start of the service, Benedict recalled that the red colour of the biretta and the scarlet cassock that cardinals wear symbolizes the blood that cardinals must be willing to shed to remain faithful to the church.

“The new cardinals are entrusted with the service of love: love for God, love for his church, an absolute and unconditional love for his brothers and sisters even unto shedding their blood, if necessary,” Benedict said.

13 Responses to Toronto archbishop one of 22 new cardinals

  1. JG says:

    How much did that “official government delegation” cost tax payers?…If they at least paid taxes and were responsible for the costs, medical, counseling care of their victims.
    Two hundred (200) were part of the delegation according to media reports…
    A lot of victims could have been helped…instead of participating in this “buffoon” spectacle in red! Hard, isn’t it, not to be seduced by the “big boys club”…and no amount of “flattery” will justify it!…

    How much???…
    We should know!

    jg

  2. Larry Green says:

    I say just a bit hypocritical for a ‘secularist’ government who has on every opportunity made it abundantly clear that religious expression has no place, no business and will not be tolerated in any sphere of public service. Except when it comes to Catholics. Not only is this an insult to non – religious individuals and to non- Catholics, who are forced to pay through their hard earned tax dollars to have our politicians flauntingly display themselves alongside a flock of Catholic peacocks purely for the sake of political advantage and Catholic propaganda. It is such a slap in the face to clergy abused victims who have to forfeit their money toward supporting the very organization responsible for their pain and suffering , through both the molestation and the cover-up which followed. It seems as though anyone who thought that church and state were separate and uncorrelated entities , were sadly mistaken and naive.
    It is apparent from all this to me ( a Catholic) that not only have we been called down a crooked path by a powerful institution (the Catholic Church) , but it’s much more powerful than anyone should ever hope for.

    • JG says:

      Larry,
      I would say it is more “controlling” than “powerful” and only because we are really “sheep” asking to be lead by those willing to create an impression for our primitive submissiveness…to be “seated” with those we perceive to have control over our lives…and they play that like the “Harp” of an Angel for our naive longings!…We are supposed to be impressed!… and some are, obviously.

      The Generosity and Loving nature or the “Christian Message” should not have morphed with “power”, ‘money”, “institution”, “politics”….
      They told us/are still telling us they know what is best …for all of us…and some still believe them…
      They have the power we believe they have.

      I agree it is an insult for a lot of “other” Canadians, who may wish to have a “delegation” of their own…Never mind the elderly pensions, the Health Care system, the Homeless, the victims of clerical sexual abuse…lets throw a party for an inept religious administration and call it a tourist attraction for Canada!
      But that will be enough. I was feeling sick enough before this “delegation celebration of an elevation”.
      Bad mix of religion and politics…
      jg

  3. Larry Green says:

    P.S. Tom Collins has the look on his face of a sheep.

  4. Larry Green says:

    Ithink!

  5. Michel Bertrand says:

    Have a we drab of gin fellows, have a we drab of gin, made it all by meeself you know up there in Rome even got ourselves a bran new Indian saint for gosh sake, now everything gonna be fine in Canada fellaws, have we drab of gin.

  6. Mike Mc says:

    Please explain this:::::::::::::::::::”That said, each of the new cardinals did make a solemn pledge to keep church secrets upon accepting their new title, ring and three-pointed red hat, or biretta, from the Pope.

    Reciting the cardinals’ traditional oath of loyalty, each one pledged to remain faithful to the church and to “not to make known to anyone matters entrusted to me in confidence, the disclosure of which could bring damage or dishonour to Holy Church.”

    Hasn’t this been the problem all the time? They want to protect the “Holy Church” to the point that documents are shredded and abusive priests are hidden….until lay people rebel and courts decide. T’is time to open the vaults and records on clergy sexual abuse and get to the matter once and for all. Let’s start in Rome.

  7. Larry Green says:

    Swearing oaths to secrecy and protecting the honor of the organization is standard procedure in organized crime.

  8. JG says:

    Mussolini…
    … was behind the creation of the Vatican in 1929…for political reasons, he sat down and bartered for “his elevation”…played the game to get the acceptance, the backing of Italian Catholics and the “interference” of the leader of the Church…
    A dictatorship supporting a dictatorship supporting a dictatorship…
    Eighty years later we look at this as if it always was and always would be…This is not “gospel”truth but the manipulations of greed and ambition!
    We are being seduced before we are sacrificed…as it was done to the child victims of the church …and we are now witnessing the abuse of our society as a whole as we are being sacrificed without remorse… lied to and ignored!
    Yes, we need help and protection from this “evil power”…”boys club”…”organized crime”… whatever “its” name!
    Their “loyalty” is always to one and other. Not to the “rest” of us, except when we are needed…and we are right back to the Mussolini effect and ” the end justifies the means…”
    The Vatican!?…Absolute power corrupted absolutely!
    jg

  9. Patrick McMahon says:

    Well there is some good news in this.

    So far the basilians have continued to refuse to request the vatican initiate the process to defrock Hod Marshall which must be done before the vatican will commence any investigation or action. (Please ignore the repeated LIE from the basilian spokesman that the basilians can do nothing about having Marhsall defrocked as it is a vatican responsibility.) In absence of the basilians taking action the responsibility for making the request falls on Collins as the archbishop of Toronto. Surely this will be easily and swiftly done in his position as cardinal!

    I look forward to seeing it in the papers soon before this good communicator is inundated with communication asking why he has not performed such a simple task … for the good of the church, the good of our country and the good of victims around the world.

    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      Patrick, we think the same on this one.. But, the NEW Cardinal may have more important things to do, like tour the Archdiocese in his new wardrobe, or a speaking engagement in Peru, or the Republic of Forgotten Pygmies.

  10. Rand O'Connor says:

    I was a student at St. Peter’s Seminary and was subjected to his dreadful teaching for a couple years. He has been dreaming of this for years! I could go on ad nauseum about his syrupy paternalistic nonsense, but he has reached the pinnacle of I don’t know what! He was the Spiritual Director of a pedophile priest!
    r of one!

  11. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    Rand;
    Please take note of a blog from Larry Green on this site , dated Feb. 26/12. Mike.

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