Pope Benedict XVI formally inducted 22 churchmen to the elite circle of cardinals in a ceremony in Vatican Saturday.
Pope presided over the ceremony held in St. Peter's Basilica.
The new cardinals are from 13 countries, including three from the United States and Canada - Cardinals Timothy M. Dolan of New York, Edwin F. O'Brien, former archbishop of Baltimore and Thomas C. Collins of Toronto.
The Pope addressed the new cardinals and said that it was love and service and not an air of greatness that should mark their lives as cardinals.
In a ceremony witnessed by thousands of people through large video screens, the pontiff formally created the cardinals by placing the ceremonial three cornered red caps on their heads and cardinals' rings in their fingers.
The newly created cardinals joined the elite club of churchmen who will elect the successor of 84-year old pontiff. The rite had gained importance in the background of the reported signs of slowing down from the Pope.
However, the recent embarrassing leaks of internal papers of the Holy See have cast shadow over the celebrations in the Vatican City. The leaks from the secret official documents of the Vatican now nick named as Vatileaks have been appearing in several Italian papers, causing much embarrassment to the administration.
The leaks reportedly expose the corruption and mismanagement in Vatican administration and a more explosive one is related to a letter that tells about an assassination bid on the life of the Pope.
The Vatican administration believes it as an attempt to undermine the credibility and efficiency of current administration and the Holy See, vested interest groups.
Nevertheless, the incident has shaken the Church which so far had a wall of secrecy maintained for centuries. It won't be wrong to say that such leaks from the highest echelon of Catholic faith were unthinkable, till now.
The Church has made every attempt to trace out the source of the leaks so far but met with no success.
The controversies regarding the leak and alleged mismanagement of the Vatican affairs have come at a time when there are unofficial reports in Italian media say that the Church officials, sensing the deteriorating health of the pontiff have already, started the preparations for a papal conclave.