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February 22, 2006

Statement from Cardinal Justin Rigali Regarding Americans to be Created Cardinals in the Catholic Church

Pope Benedict XVI announced on February 22 that he will create fifteen new Cardinals in the Catholic Church at a ceremony known as a consistory at the Vatican on March 24, 2006. Two Americans were among those named, including Archbishop William J. Levada, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Boston Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap.

I extend congratulations to all the Cardinals-Designate named by the Holy Father. They will serve the Church as close advisers and collaborators with the Supreme Pontiff in his ministry. I am also grateful to the Holy Father for the invitation to join him in reflection and prayer prior to the consistory and in a Mass the following day.

Archbishop Levada, whom I have known for over fifty years, brings deep theological expertise and pastoral experience to his position at the Vatican congregation. The Catholic faithful in Portland, Oregon, and in San Francisco whom he led as bishop no doubt remember him fondly in their prayers. I am certain the faithful of Boston are also gratified by the designation of Archbishop O'Malley, who is a prayerful model of spirituality for the people of God.

I ask all Catholics to join me in offering prayers of thanksgiving to our Lord Jesus Christ for raising these bishops to roles of greater service to the universal Church. May their ministries continue to give glory to God as they build up His Church.


Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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