VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Six new cardinals on Saturday joined the elite club of red-robed churchmen who will elect the next pope, bringing a more geographically diverse mix into the European-dominated College of Cardinals.
Pope Benedict XVI presided over the ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica to formally elevate the six men, who hail from Colombia, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, the Philippines and the United States. As Benedict read each name aloud in Latin, cheers and applause erupted from their friends and family members in the pews.
The ceremony was both joyful and emotional: Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle, seen by many to be a rising star in the church, visibly choked up as he knelt before Benedict to receive his three-pointed red hat, or biretta, and gold ring, and wiped tears from his eyes as he returned to his place.
Abuja, Nigeria Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, meanwhile, seemed to want to sit down and chat with each one of the dozens of cardinals that he greeted in the traditional exchange of peace that follows the formal elevation rite.