At 10.30 a.m. tomorrow, November 24, the Pope will hold an Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of 23 new cardinals.

The consistory for the creation of new cardinals, according to the new rite introduced during the consistory of June 28, 1991, contains the following points:

Following a liturgical greeting, the Pope reads the formula of creation, and solemnly proclaims the names of the new cardinals. The first of the new cardinals then addresses the Holy Father on behalf of everyone.

This is followed by the Liturgy of the Word, the Pope’s homily, the Profession of Faith and the taking of the oath by each cardinal.

Each new cardinal then approaches the Holy Father and kneels before him to receive the cardinal’s biretta and to be assigned a title or deaconry.

The Pope places the biretta on the cardinal’s head and says, in part: “(This is) red as a sign of the dignity of the office of a cardinal, signifying that you are ready to act with fortitude, even to the point of spilling your blood for the increase of the Christian faith, for peace and harmony among the people of God, for freedom and the spread of the Holy Roman Catholic Church”.

The Holy Father hands over the Bull of Creation as cardinal, assigns the title or deaconry and exchanges a kiss of peace with the new members of the College of Cardinals. The cardinals also exchange such a sign among themselves.

The rite is concluded with the Prayer of the Faithful, the recitation of the Our Father and the final blessing.

At 10.30 a.m. on Sunday, November 25, Solemnity of Christ the King, the Holy Father will preside at a concelebrated Mass with the new cardinals, during which he will give them the cardinal’s ring, “the sign of dignity, pastoral care and the most solid communion with the See of Peter.”

As he places the ring on the new cardinal’s finger, the Pope says: “Take this ring from the hand of Peter and know that, with the love of the Prince of the Apostles, your love for the Church is strengthened.”

Following the morning’s ceremony, the College of Cardinals will have 201 members, of whom 120 are electors. The members of the College, by continent of origin, are divided as follows: 104 from Europe, 20 from North America, 34 from South America, 18 from Africa, 21 from Asia and 4 from Oceania.

As advisors to the Pope, the cardinals act collegially with him through consistories, which meet by order of the Roman Pontiff and under his presidency. Consistories can either be ordinary or extraordinary. In the ordinary consistory, all cardinals present in Rome, other bishops, priests and special guests are convened. These consistories are called by the Pope for consultation on certain important issues or to give special solemnity to some celebrations. An extraordinary consistory is one to which all cardinals are convened, and is celebrated when some special needs or more serious affairs of the Church suggest that it should be held.

VIS

Photo by Domini Sumus
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