VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI has formally elevated 24 new cardinals amid cheers in St. Peter's Basilica.
Benedict read each of the names of the "princes of the church" in Latin to roaring applause from the pews and smiles from the cardinals themselves.
Wearing their new scarlet cassocks — to signify their willingness to shed blood for the church — the cardinals processed first into the basilica, waving to well-wishers as organ music thundered in a festive yet solemn atmosphere.
During the ceremony, the new cardinals will promise to obey the pope. Their main task is to offer him advice and eventually elect his successor.
There are now 203 cardinals in the elite group, 121 of whom are under age 80 and thus eligible to vote in a conclave.
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