VATICAN CITY – Leaders and members of the Catholic Church are called to ensure the Church's fidelity to Jesus and to the faith passed on by the apostles, Pope Benedict Feb. 19 told the 22 new cardinals he created a day earlier.
"The Church is not self-regulating, she does not determine her own structure, but receives it from the word of God, to which she listens in faith as she seeks to understand it and to live it," he said.
The pope's comments came in a homily during a Mass concelebrated with the new cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica.
"Everything in the Church rests upon faith: the sacraments, the liturgy, evangelization, charity," as well as "the law and the Church's authority," he said.
Catholics cannot make things up as they go along, he said. They must follow tradition, the sacred Scriptures and the teaching of the apostles, explained and interpreted by the fathers of the Church and the popes.
All the Church teaches and does in the world must be motivated by love and lead to love, the pope said.
"Whoever believes in Jesus Christ and enters into the dynamic of love that finds its source in the Eucharist discovers true joy and becomes capable, in turn, of living according to the logic of gift," he said.
Pope Benedict met the new cardinals and their family and friends again Feb. 20 in an informal audience.
At the end of the audience, each of the new cardinals presented two members of their entourage to the pope. Cardinal Collins introduced his sisters, Catherine and Patricia.