Dutch archbishop Wim Eijk appointed cardinal.

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Pope Benedict XVI announced the appointment in Rome on Friday. Eijk is the eighth Dutch cleric to be appointed cardinal.

Archbishop Eijk is now one of just two Dutch cardinals, the other being Ad Simonis who turned 80 in November. Due to his age, Cardinal

Simonis will not take part in next papal conclave which will select a new pope when Benedict XVI passes away. Eijk succeeded Simonis as archbishop in 2007. Ever since Jan de Jong was appointed cardinal in 1946, it has been customary for the pope to bestow the rank of cardinal on the archbishop of Utrecht.

In addition to Wim Eijk, Pope Benedict XVI has appointed 21 other clerics as cardinal including archbishop Rainer Maria Wölki of Berlin.

The 22 new cardinals will be invested during a ceremony to be conducted at the Vatican on 18 February. This is the fourth time that the pope has appointed new cardinals since his election in April 2005.


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