The World Awaits
Per usual, the Pope's Wednesday General Audience begins at 10.30am Rome time (4.30am ET, 0830 GMT); if the plan holds, the magic words "Terrò un concistoro" and the announcement of some 20-plus cardinals-designate will come at the gathering's end, just around Vatican Noon (6am ET, 1000 GMT).
In prior instances, the final list -- always arranged according to a strict order of seniority -- has trickled out slightly in advance.... Either way, feel free to keep it here and on Page Three come early for the traditional live-fest; fresh off B16's official kickoff of the monthlong sprint to a consistory, the day should see the usual outbreak of pressers, statements, and all other sorts of celebrations.
For now, though, a reflection on the significance of the office and the responsibility it entails -- a snip from B16's homily of 24 March 2006, as he presided over his first public consistory:
Venerable and dear Brothers, I want to sum up the meaning of this new call that you have received in the word which I placed at the heart of my first Encyclical: caritas. This matches well the colour of your cardinalatial robes. May the scarlet that you now wear always express the caritas Christi, inspiring you to a passionate love for Christ, for his Church and for all humanity. You now have an additional motive to seek to rekindle in yourselves those same sentiments that led the incarnate Son of God to pour out his blood in atonement for the sins of the whole world. I am counting on you, venerable Brothers, I am counting on the entire College into which you are being incorporated, to proclaim to the world that “Deus caritas est” ["God is love"], and to do so above all through the witness of sincere communion among Christians: “By this”, said Jesus, “all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35). I am counting on you, dear Brother Cardinals, to ensure that the principle of love will spread far and wide, and will give new life to the Church at every level of her hierarchy, in every group of the faithful, in every religious Institute, in every spiritual, apostolic or humanitarian initiative. I am counting on you to see to it that our common endeavour to fix our gaze on Christ’s open Heart will hasten and secure our path towards the full unity of Christians. I am counting on you to see to it that the Church’s solicitude for the poor and needy challenges the world with a powerful statement on the civilization of love. All this I see symbolized in the scarlet with which you are now invested. May it truly be a symbol of ardent Christian love shining forth in your lives.-30-