VATICAN CITY, MAR 21, 2006 (VIS) – On Friday, March 24, Benedict XVI will celebrate his first Ordinary Public Consistory, during which he will create 15 new cardinals. Including the newcomers the College of Cardinals will, on that day, have 193 members of whom 120, those under the age of 80, enjoy the right to participate in a conclave for the election of a new Pope.

Following Friday’s consistory Europe will have 100 cardinals of whom 60 have the right to vote, while the Americas will have 52 cardinals (20 from North America and 32 from South America) with 36 electors. There will be 17 African cardinals with 9 electors, 20 Asian cardinals with 13 electors, and four cardinals from Oceania with 2 electors.

Italy remains the country with the largest number of cardinals, 40 in all including three who will be created on March 24. It is followed by the United States with 15 cardinals , and by France and Spain with nine each.

Tomorrow’s consistory will take place according to the new rite introduced at the consistory of June 28, 1991. After a liturgical greeting, the Holy Father will read the formula of creation and solemnly proclaim the names of the new cardinals. The first of the new cardinals, in the name of all the others, will address the Pope.

Following the Liturgy of the Word, the Holy Father will deliver a homily. There will then be the profession of faith and taking of the oath by the new cardinals, the imposition of the red “biretta” or hat and assignment of the titular or diaconate church in Rome as a sign of participation in the Pope’s pastoral concern for the city.

The Holy Father will hand over the Bull of Creation as cardinal and that of assignment of titular or diaconate church, and exchange an embrace of peace with the new cardinals. The cardinals will then do the same with each other. The rite will conclude with the prayer of the Faithful, the recitation of the Our Father and the final blessing.
…/STATISTICS:COLLEGE OF CARDINALS/… VIS 060321 (360)

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