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Tuesday, February 28, 2006
One of 15 new men to wear red hat is thorn in Beijing's side.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI named his first batch of cardinals Wednesday, sending strong political messages with nominations in Hong Kong and Venezuela.

Benedict named 15 new "Princes" of the Roman Catholic Church. One was sentimental favorite Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, Pope John Paul II's longtime private secretary.

The cardinals come from 11 countries on five continents and include the archbishops of Boston, Krakow, Poland; Seoul, South Korea; Bordeaux, France; Bologna, Italy; Manila, Philippines and Toledo, Spain.

Along with the Boston archbishop, Sean P. O'Malley, the other American selected was Archbishop William Levada.

A key appointment is that of HongKong Bishop Joseph Zen, an outspoken China critic and supporter of the underground church.

Benedict has sought to restore diplomatic relations with China, and Zen's nomination could be seen as an affront to Beijing. However, China experts said Benedict's selection was also practical, given that Zen is an expert on the Chinese Church and as cardinal will serve as a close papal adviser.

China broke ties with the Vatican in 1951 and demands that Catholics worship only in churches approved by the state-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association, which does not recognize the pope's authority.

"What the church, Monsignor Zen and the Vatican would like is just to be free to express our own faith, to express the freedom of religion, not to be involved in politics." said the Rev. Bernardo Cervellera, a China expert.

Benedict also nominated Caracas Archbishop Jorge Urosa Savino, who has sought to defuse recent tensions between the church in Venezuela and socialist President Hugo Chavez.

(Source: Assocaited Press by: Nicole Winfield)
posted by infraternam meam @ 12:13 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
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About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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