Congratulations to Cardinals Dolan and O'Brien who were created Cardinals this morning in Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and making themselves available individually or in groups to the pope if he requests their counsel. Most cardinals have additional duties, such as leading a diocese or archdiocese or running a department of the Roman Curia.
The pope bestowed a blessing on each man and gave them the red silk square-ridged hats, called birettas, that signify princes of the church. The scarlet color, he told the men in a quiet but steady voice, signifies a “readiness to act with courage, even to the shedding of your blood, for the increase of the Christian faith.”
Then, giving a golden ring to each of the new cardinals, the pope declared, “Receive the ring from the hands of Peter and know that your love of the church is strengthened with the love of the Prince of the Apostles.”
“As grateful as I am for being a cardinal, I really want to be a saint,” Dolan said. “I mean that, but I have a long way to go.”