VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In a rather simple prayer service Nov. 19, Pope Francis will create 17 new cardinals and symbolically bind them to ancient church traditions.
In the months following the consistory — as any gathering of cardinals is called — the new cardinals under the age of 80 will be named members of various Vatican congregations, councils, dicasteries and offices. For most of the cardinals, the memberships, while not involving a permanent move to Rome, will be the most regular exercise of their new ministry as advisers to the pope.
The most serious responsibility that cardinals have is the solemn obligation to gather in a conclave to elect a new pope. That right is reserved to cardinals under the age of 80.
Three U.S. citizens are among the new cardinals. They are: Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago; Bishop Kevin J. Farrell, prefect of the new Vatican office for laity, family and life; and Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, who recently was transferred from Indianapolis to Newark, New Jersey.
At the consistory for creating new cardinals, Pope Francis will give each of the 17 a scroll with the “title” to a church or parish in Rome. As the “titular cardinal” of the church, a cardinal from anywhere in the world becomes a special member of the clergy of Rome. The practice echoes the ancient tradition of the Rome clergy electing their bishop, the pope.
They will arrive at St. Peter’s Basilica already dressed in their new red robes; the crimson hue is a reminder the cardinals wear that they must be faithful to Christ, his church and the pope to the point of shedding blood, if necessary.
Together, the new cardinals will solemnly profess their faith by reciting the Creed and formally swear fidelity and obedience to the pope and his successors. Then, one by one, they will approach Pope Francis to receive a biretta — a three-cornered red hat — their cardinal’s ring and the assignment of their titular church.
The 17 new cardinals come from 11 nations and most will travel with family, friends and faithful. The Vatican always hosts a reception where people can greet the new cardinals — both those they know and those they have never met. The reception used to be held on the lower floors of the Apostolic Palace, but has now been moved to the Vatican audience hall.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103