On the Feast of the Epiphany, Pope Benedict XVI announced that 22 new cardinals would be created at a consistory, which was held this past Saturday. The list of new cardinals included Jesuit Father Karl Josef Becker, a longtime professor of dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University.
“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, as expressed in the words of placing the biretta and as indicated by the colour of their robes,” said the Holy Father.
Jesuit Father James Martin wrote about Cardinal Becker’s elevation, especially in light of him being a Jesuit:
“Normally the pope names (or, technically, ”creates”) cardinals from the ranks of bishops and archbishops (as with Archbishop Dolan) and these men are often heads of the larger archdioceses. But occasionally the pope names a priest, to honor the man for his life’s work. (Normally they are over 80, not named a bishop so as to spare them from the sacramental duties of a bishop, and are ineligible to vote in a papal conclave.) Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ, the American Jesuit theologian, was a recent example.” (An interview with Cardinal Dulles a few months before the consistory, including his thoughts on becoming a cardinal, is here.)