A Record Consistory

College Has Unprecedented Number of Members

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 21, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Today´s consistory was a record-breaker in many ways.

Never before were so many cardinals created in one event (44). Never before were there so many members in the College of Cardinals (184). Never before were there so many elector cardinals, eligible to pick a new pope (135). Never before were there so many countries represented in the college (61). The newest cardinals represent 27 nations.

The first consistory of the millennium drew a record 40,000 people, including hundreds of bishops, to St. Peter´s Square.

“His Holiness John Paul II´s eighth consistory is also a great media event,” Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said in an official statement. Two hundred fifty specially accredited reporters, in addition to the 400 permanently accredited in the Vatican, were on hand.

Also on hand were 74 television teams and 40 photographic agencies. At least 180 radio stations transmitted the ceremony live. Diplomats from 24 countries were also on hand.

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