Consistory Mass on October 5, 2019, in St. Peter's Basilica. (Vatican Media)

JUST IN: Vatican Explains Details for Saturday’s Consistory for Creation of New Cardinals

In Light of COVID19 Resurgence, No Courtesy Visits and Cardinals-elect Sim & Advincula Will Not Be Able to Be Physically Present

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The Vatican has explained how the imminent Consistory for the Creation of new cardinals will work in light of the COVID19 resurgence world wide.

In a statement from Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, he confirmed that on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, at 4 pm, the Ordinary Public Consistory, announced by Pope Francis, for the creation of 13 new cardinals will be celebrated.

He clarified that Cardinals-elect Cornelius Sim, Apostolic Vicar of Brunei, and Jose F. Advincula, Archbishop of Capiz, Philippines, will not be able to be present due to the contingent health situation, but still “will be created Cardinals in the Consistory.”

“A representative of the Holy Father, at another time to be determined, will give them the hat, the ring and the bull with the title,” he said.

“The members of the College of Cardinals unable to reach Rome,” the Vatican spokesman also clarified, “will be able to join the Celebration, participating remotely from their headquarters, through a digital platform that will allow them to connect with the Vatican Basilica.”

The program will be as follows:

On Saturday, November 28 at 4:00 pm, the Holy Father Francis will hold the Public Ordinary Consistory, at the Altar of the Chair in the Vatican Basilica, to create nine new Cardinals, for the imposition of the biretta, the delivery of the ring and the assignment of the Title or Diakonia.

On Sunday, November 29 at 10:00 am, the Holy Father Frances will celebrate Holy Mass at the Altar of the Chair in the Vatican Basilica.

Only the newly created Cardinals will be able to concelebrate with the Holy Father.

“In consideration of the health dispositions in force at present, given the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Vatican statements explained, “the usual courtesy visits will not take place.”

“The Consistory’s celebrations,” it added, “will not have the shape of the Papal Chapel” and “will have a very limited participation of the people (lay faithful, consecrated persons, presbyters and Bishops).” In this regard, it noted, the tickets issued by the Prefecture of the Papal Household, will be reserved only for those that will accompany the newly created Cardinals.

The Vatican explained how the Rite of the Consistory would be carried out, starting with the chair of the Holy Father being placed in front of the Altar, and the gathering place of the new Cardinals, being at the Altar of Saint Leo.

In the presbytery, the newly created Cardinals, it noted, are placed in two rows, on the sides of the Altar, to the right and left of the Holy Father. Together with their secretaries, and accompanied by the Masters of Ceremonies in charge, they go in procession to the presbytery, along the street on the side of the Chapel of Saint Joseph.

Some 100 faithful, accompanying the new cardinals, will take part in the celebration, in addition to the Cardinals of new and old creation. These faithful will take their place behind the Cardinals of old creation. Parish priests and rectors of the titular churches entrusted to the new cardinals by the Pope will also be present.

At the beginning of the celebration, the first of the new Cardinals, Cardinal Mario Grech, will greet the Holy Father.

While reminding the celebration will be carried out as usual, the Vatican did point out a change.

“Only the embrace of peace between the Cardinals,” they said, “is omitted.” Consequently, after the rite of creation, the new Cardinals return to their place in the presbytery.

For the rites of the imposition of the biretta, delivery of the ring and assignment of the Title, the newly created Cardinals come before the Holy Father, moving alternatively from left to right, looking at the Altar.

At the end of the celebration, the Holy Father — together with the new Cardinals and their secretaries –, will leave in procession passing by the Chapel of Saint Joseph, and returning to the sacristy.


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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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