by Anura Guruge
Refer to the ‘Consistory‘ TAB right at the top, above the banner ((↑↑)), for all the pertinent ‘consistory’-related links, which include those for the February 18, 2012 cardinal creating consistory.
L’Osservatore Romano has reported TWO fairly significant changes to the hitherto observed protocol at cardinal creating consistories. Please refer to the above link if you are not conversant with what the protocol used to be, for example for the November 20, 2010 consistory.
1/ The prior STEP 3, paying homage to the pope by the first named new cardinal, the de facto most senior of the newly created, on behalf of all the new cardinals will NOT occur at the consistory per se! Instead Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, will do the honors the next day, Sunday, at the now also traditional concelebrated Mass by the pope and the new cardinals at St. Peter’s.
2/ The rings that used to be presented to the cardinals at the Sunday Mass will now be presented to the newly created cardinals at the Saturday consistory along with their red (willing to shed blood for the Church) birettas and the scrolls confirming their titles.
I can’t help thinking that these changes, yet again, have something to do with the pope’s health. Eliminating the ring awarding step, with each elderly cardinal slowly shuffling up to the pope and back, and combining it with the already necessary trip to pick up the hat, will trim at least an hour from the Sunday Mass. I think that is the motivation. I could, however, as always, be wrong.