Pope Francis appoints 19 new cardinals in Rome

Former pope Benedict makes surprise appearance at St Peter’s Basilica

Past and present popes Emeritus Benedict XVI (left) and Pope Francis greet each other in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican City today before the start of a consistory during which 19 new cardinals were appointed - the first of Pope Francis’ papacy.  Photograph: Fabio Frustaci/EPA

Past and present popes Emeritus Benedict XVI (left) and Pope Francis greet each other in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican City today before the start of a consistory during which 19 new cardinals were appointed - the first of Pope Francis’ papacy. Photograph: Fabio Frustaci/EPA

 

Pope Francis has appointed 19 new cardinals in Rome today, the first such appointments of his papacy.

The 19 senior clerics from 12 different countries received the symbolic red hat at a consistory ceremony this morning in St Peter’s Basilica.

Former pope Benedict made a surprise appearance at the ceremony. Benedict (86), who resigned a year ago, sat quietly wearing a long white overcoat in the front row along with other cardinals.

It was the first time he has attended a papal ceremony since his resignation, although he and Francis have met several times.

When he reached the front of the basilica to start the ceremony, Pope Francis went greet Benedict, who took off his white skull cap in a sign of respect and obedience to Francis.

Even though the crowd inside the basilica had been asked to refrain from applause during the ceremony, they clapped when Benedict walked in and again when his name was mentioned in an opening address by one of the new cardinals.

Benedict became the first pope to resign in 600 years when he stepped down in February last year. Francis was elected the first non-European pope in 1,300 years two weeks later.

A Papal Mass with the new cardinals — all elevated to the Catholic clergy’s second highest rank — will take place tomorrow. It means they will be granted a place at the conclave which will be consulted to elect the next pope.

Each bishop appointed cardinal promised fidelity to the death to the pope and received a red biretta and a ring from him. The reason that the biretta is red is to symbolise the wearer’s willingness to give their lives for the Catholic faith.

An ancient custom is that each cardinal will also be appointed titular bishop to a Roman church. This appointment reflects the original role of the College of Cardinals. It is usual that following the ceremony, there are various receptions held in the Vatican. These are often held on the first floor of the Apostolic Palace, but they have also been held in the Audience Hall and Vatican Museum.

Agencies

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.