Monday, March 20, 2006

THE CONSISTORY: Change of Venue


Welcome to Consistory Week.

An announcement just made from the Office of Papal Liturgical Celebrations indicates that the backdrops for the ceremonies at which Benedict XVI will create 15 new cardinals have been changed.

While it was made public last month that Friday morning's public consistory will take place in the Paul VI Hall, this morning's release says that, continuing the custom of public consistories since 1998, the rite at which the cardinals-designate will receive the red hat will take place in St. Peter's Square, on the steps of the Basilica.

However, the 2006 class of cardinals will be by far the smallest to be received into the Pope's Senate outdoors. John Paul II created significantly larger classes in the Nervi in 1988, 1991 and 1994.

The Mass of the Rings on Annunciation Day -- previously slated to take place within the Vatican Basilica -- has likewise been moved to the Sagrato, as the steps are known in Italian.

As is the case with consistories past, both ceremonies begin at 10.30am Rome time, 0930 GMT.