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The announcement was made on the 22nd February that fifteen new cardinals would be created that year. 12 of them are under 80 years old, which is the age limit for participating in a conclave. This means that Benedict XVI has decided to continue with the tradition of having 120 cardinals, which was previously the practice, but had been discontinued by John Paul II.
During the consistory, fifteen red cardinals' hats were taken in a ceremony in St. Peter's Square. After the liturgical prayers and Pope's address, the candidates kneeled before the Pope's biretta and took their cardinal titles. This was followed by prayers of thanksgiving, intercession, the Lord's Prayer, and other prayers.
One of the cardinals who took part in the consistory, Father Albert Vanhoye, is not a bishop. Benedict XVI has followed tradition by naming a foremost theologian in the consistory. The Pope can choose whether or not to ordain the candidate as bishop. The two others are emeritus bishops.