Friday, March 24, 2006

"Che Gioia -- You're Here!"

Now these are the photos I've been waiting for....

The most touching moment of the consistory was when Cardinal Peter Proeku Dery, the 87 year-old retired archbishop of Tamale in Ghana, was brought forward to Benedict XVI to receive his red hat.

(And, as an aside, no one in Rome still has any semblance of a clue why it was Dery. But this is why the Pope picks -- he knows what's up, no?)

Dery is wheelchair -bound -- he gave the immortal quote upon his elevation that "Before you told me about this [honor], I was feeling well. And now I feel sick again." -- so he had to be carried up the steps to the papal dais.

As he couldn't kneel to receive his biretta, the Pope stood to perform the conferral, and then stepped down to embrace and greet him.

As an image, and a memory, it's a keeper.

AP/Andrew Medichini
PHOTO 2: Reuters/Chris Helgren