Thursday, March 23, 2006

THE CONSISTORY: More on the "Cenacle"

The Holy See has released a communique on today's gathering of the College of Cardinals.

While the fulltext of Cardinal Angelo Sodano's greeting to the Pope was published, Benedict XVI's words to the cardinals were, notably, not. In a provided summary, the Pope was said to have offered an "affectionate thought to the Cardinals who could not be present" at the session.

Benedict then "expressed the desire that this [meeting], while eventually being open to other topics" would first tackle some issues he had in mind:
  • the role of retired bishops
  • questions on the dialogue with the Lefebvrist movements and the Conciliar liturgical reform
  • questions on the dialogue between the church and Islam
A presentation on the question of the retired bishops was offered by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and Cardinal Dario Castrillion Hoyos rose to speak on the issue of the Lefebvrites. Twenty others (cardinals-designate included) rose to offer replies.

As the Pope called the gathering not so much to speak to his cardinals as to hear them out, he likely kept his own words to a minimum during the intervention period. Remember well that he asked for the floor precisely once during the three-week long Synod of Bishops, which was held in the same room last October.

The morning session was said to extend from 9.30am to noon, with the evening gathering going from 5-7pm.