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Pope Emeritus Benedict made a surprise appearance at a ceremony on at which his successor Pope Francis elevated 19 prelates to the rank of cardinal.
The ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica celebrates new cardinals from countries including Haiti, the Ivory Coast and Nicaragua.
This reflects Francis' concern for poorer countries, laid out when he called for "a poor Church, and for the poor" after his election almost a year ago.
It was the first time Benedict has attended a papal ceremony since he resigned in February 2013.
Benedict sat quietly wearing a long white overcoat in the front row along with other cardinals. Despite being asked not to clap, the gathered prelates gave him a spontaneous round of applause.
The new cardinals, who are the pope's closest advisors, are presented with a hat called the Biretta and a special ring at the ceremony.
Sixteen of them are "cardinal electors" under 80 and thus eligible to e