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Pope calls for end to Iraq war

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict, elevating 23 prelates from around the world to the elite rank of cardinal, made a pressing appeal on Saturday for an end to the war in Iraq and decried the plight of the country's Christian minority.

One of the new cardinals is Emmanuel III Delly, the Baghdad-based Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, and the Pope used the solemn occasion, known as a consistory, to express his concern for Iraq.

The other new cardinals come from Italy, Ireland, Germany, the United States, Spain, India, Argentina, Kenya, Mexico, Poland, Senegal, Brazil and France.

Speaking of Delly during the ceremony in St Peter's Basilica, Benedict said Christians in Iraq were "feeling with their own flesh the dramatic consequences of an enduring conflict ... "

The Chaldeans are Iraq's biggest Christian group and the Chaldean rite is one of the most ancient of the Catholic Church.

Many Iraqi Chaldeans have emigrated since the war started. The Vatican has expressed concern before that one of the countries with the oldest Christian traditions could be depleted of its faithful as many leave to escape the violence.

"Let us together reaffirm the solidarity of the whole Church with the Christians of that beloved land and invoke from the merciful God the coming of longed-for reconciliation and peace for all the peoples involved (in the conflict)," he said in his homily.

Wearing gold embroidered vestments, the Pope said in his sermon that he had chosen the Iraqi patriarch as a cardinal to express his spiritual closeness to suffering Iraqis.

Eighteen of the new cardinals are under 80 and eligible under Church rules to enter a secret conclave to elect a new pope after Benedict's death. The other five, including Delly, are over 80 and were given the honor for symbolic reasons or to thank them for long service to the Church.

"PRINCES OF THE CHURCH"

The Pope bestowed the new "princes of the Church" with a biretta, a red hat whose color is meant to remind them that they may one day be called upon to shed their blood for the faith and the Church.

While the normal biretta has four corners and three vertical protruding fins, the Pope gave Delly a round hat in keeping with the sartorial tradition of the Chaldeans. Delly received the most applause and supporters waved an Iraqi flag during the service.

Cardinals are the Pope's closest aides. They lead major dioceses around the world, head Vatican departments and advise him on matters affecting everything from faith to finances.

The new "electors" include Archbishop John Patrick Foley, a former Vatican official from the United States, Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, and Archbishop Paul Joseph Cordes, a German based in the Vatican.

Archbishops Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris, Oswald Gracias of Bombay, Francisco Robles Ortega of Monterrey, Mexico, John Njue of Nairobi and Sean Baptist Brady -- Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland -- will also be electors.

It was the second time since his election in April 2005 that the Pope has elevated cardinals to put his stamp on the Church. The first consistory was in March 2006, when he installed 15.

Church law sets a ceiling of 120 on the number of "cardinal electors". The total number of cardinals, including those over 80, is now 201.

The late Pope John Paul held nine consistories during his 26-year reign and created more than 200 cardinals. All but 2 of the prelates who entered the conclave following his death in April, 2005 had been made cardinals by him.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella and Tom Heneghan, editing by Peter Millership)


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Added: Nov-24-2007 
By: ZenGrden
In:
Iraq, News
Tags: Iraq, war, end, Pope, conflict, church
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  • "Don't let common sense tell you what to do, listen to me tell you to what to do. And condoms are bad, m'kay?"

    Got my vote for "Botard-of-the-day"

    Posted Nov-24-2007 By 

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  • The Catholic church is the main reason for the spread of aids in Africa. They've killed more people than the coalition will. so who is he to moralise

    Posted Nov-24-2007 By 

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  • I don't think anyone answers to the pope this day in age.

    Posted Nov-24-2007 By 

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  • oh...its the scary pope with the ash tray eyes...

    Posted Nov-24-2007 By 

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  • Johnny rattz is goin to Hell.

    Posted Nov-24-2007 By 

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  • But he's correct about gettin the hell outta Iraq...

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  • The Catholic church is tired of the coalition killing muslims. They want to have another go at it.

    This Hitler youth idiot is just another corrupt leader in a long line of corrupt leaders, leading the most corrupt organization in the history of the world.

    Posted Nov-25-2007 By 

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  • i dont give a crap about what this guy says

    Posted Nov-25-2007 By 

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  • The pope is the anti christ which the lord JESUS warned his people about.
    PROOF!!!.Daniel the prophet in chp 7 said the anti christ would come to power right when the roman empire would be collapsed and Christ said that this same power daniel spoke of would rule the world again right at the end. There is only one power that came to power right after romes fall and is still here with us today and that is the seat and power of the pope. So in every respect only the pope can fullfil bible prophecy More..

    Posted Sep-19-2011 By 

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