Pope Benedict XVI has elevated Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, to the College of Cardinals.

It was announced Friday morning that Archbishop Collins would be named a cardinal, which means he will become part of an international group of principal advisers to the Pope.

In a statement the archbishop spoke of how pleased he was to receive the appointment.

“I am deeply honoured that the Holy Father has called me to be a member of the College of Cardinals,” Collins said. “I am grateful for the trust he has placed in me, and recognize this honour as a sign of his esteem for the role of Canada and of the Archdiocese of Toronto in the universal Church”

Archbishop Collins was raised in Guelph and was ordained as a priest in 1973. He was named the Bishop of St. Paul, Alberta in 1997 by Pope John Paul II.

He was later named Archbishop of Edmonton in 1999, before being appointed as the 10th archbishop of Toronto in 2006.

The new cardinals will be formally appointed at the consistory on February 18-19 in Rome.

Cardinals act as advisers and committee members to help the Pontiff, and as Neil MacCarthy, spokesperson for the Toronto Archdiocese, told 680News, he’ll have another major responsibility.

“Really one of the main roles of cardinal is to elect a pope. In the event that a pope passes on, cardinals from around the world gather in a conclave and elect the pope,” MacCarthy said.

The Archdiocese of Toronto is Canada’s largest diocese, stretching from Toronto north to Georgian Bay and from Oshawa to Mississauga. It is home to 1.9 million Catholics and 225 churches, with mass celebrated in more than 30 different languages each week.