Timothy Dolan was made a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI Saturday in an elaborate ceremony at St. Peter's Basilica. NY1’s Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.
The newly elevated Cardinal Timothy Dolan wore a bright smile as he knelt before Pope Benedict XVI Saturday. He also wore the brilliant red vestments of his new title as he appeared in public for the first time.
Before approaching the alter, he and 21 other new cardinals sat in a semi-circle in St. Peter's Basilica, listening as the pope charged them, in Italian, to serve the church with vigor and with love.
“Love for God, love for his church, and absolute unconditional love for their brothers and sisters, even if shedding of their blood is necessary,” said Benedict.
During the Ordinary Public Consistory for the Creation of New Cardinals, each man who came before the pontiff was crowned with a biretta, its red color symbolizing that willingness to shed their blood.
They were also presented with the cardinalatial ring, which features the figures of Saints Peter and Paul and a star to represent the Virgin Mary.
“Receive the ring from the hands of Peter and know that your love for the church is strengthened by the love of the prince of the apostles,” said Benedict.
Finally, each man was assigned a title. For Dolan, it was the church of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Monte Mario in Rome.
Cardinal Edwin O'Brien, a native of the Bronx and the only other American elevated to the College of Cardinals in Saturday's ceremony, was assigned Saint Sebastian on the Palatine.
The new cardinals will play a serious and major role in shaping the future of the church. Among other things, they will ultimately elect a successor to Pope Benedict, now 84 years old.
But even amidst the solemnity of the occasion, Dolan beamed, displaying his signature jovial spirit as he exchanged good wishes with his fellow cardinals.
Finally, the ceremony concluded with the pope announcing the canonization of seven new saints, among them two Americans: Marianne Cope of the Sister of Saint Francis of Syracuse and Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be beatified.
The official canonization will be held in October.
Meanwhile, Cardinal Dolan will be returning to New York this week. He will take part in a special prayer service being held next Saturday at St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Cardinal Dolan Makes First Media Appearance
After the ceremony, a cheerful Dolan spoke to reporters outside St. Peter's Basilica.
He said his elevation to cardinal is about much more than just him.
"It's a great day for all of New York. This is the hat I want to put on the Empire State Building and home plate at Yankee Stadium and the Statue of Liberty cause it's for all of New York. It's not for me," said Dolan.
If you missed Dolan's elevation ceremony live on NY1 this morning, you can see it again tomorrow.
NY1 will replay the entire ceremony tomorrow at noon.