The three new American-born cardinals - New York Archbishop Edward Egan, Washington Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick and theology professor Avery Dulles - raised to 13 the ranks from the United States. Only Italy, with 40, has more.
Another U.S. citizen - Ukrainian-born, American-educated Lubomyr Husar, the archbishop of Lviv, Ukraine - was also made cardinal in the 90-minute ceremony under a bright sun at St. Peter's Square.
Egan, 68, succeeded the late Cardinal John O'Connor in May as head of the New York Archdiocese's 2.4 million Catholics. McCarrick, 70, was named Washington Archbishop in November.
Dulles, 82, beyond the 80-year-old limit to be able to vote for a new pope in the event of a conclave, was honored for his work as one of the pre-eminent theologians of the past half-century.
Dulles, walking with a cane, was the last to go up the steps to receive to red hat, which fell off after he embraced the pope.
The first American Jesuit to become cardinal, Dulles is the son of 1950s Secretary of State John Foster Dulles.
Thomas J. Reese, editor of the Catholic weekly magazine America, said Dulles' rise to cardinal is proof that ``theology in the United States has come of age.''
``When I was growing up, we only read European theologians because everyone said there were no good Americans,'' said Reese, a fellow Jesuit. ``That is clearly no longer the case.''
Reese said Dulles' most influential work, the 1974 ``Models of the Church,'' is the most widely cited work by American bishops.
Husar, head of Ukraine's Greek Catholic church, did not receive the traditional scarlet biretta but kept his black hood of the Eastern-rite vestments. Eastern rite Catholics use an Orthodox-style liturgy but are loyal to the pope.
The 67-year-old archbishop left Ukraine during World War II, and later studied in Washington and New York.