Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Extraordinary Consistory

"On the model of the General Congregations before the last Conclave," the 23 March "day of reflection and prayer" for the members of the College of Cardinals gathered in Rome for the following day's creations will actually take on the dimensions of a session in which the Pope will consult the body he's called his "senate" on the great themes of the relationship of "the church and the world," according to a letter sent by the Dean of the College, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, to its members around the world.

Leaked to Corriere della Sera and reported in it in this evening's edition, the day will include "free interventions" before Benedict XVI and the whole College -- even those over 80 -- for any cardinal to speak his mind on the issues which he feels to be of prime importance to the current moment and the situation of the church. Luigi Attacoli even veers into English in saying that the Pope wishes to "brainstorm" with his cardinals in the governance of the church, indicating that if it goes off successfully, these might become more frequent occurrences.

Whether the cardinals-designate who receive the red hat the next day will be included in this session is still unclear. There's no reason to see why they shouldn't be, but obviously they won't be Eminences by that time, but for 24 hours....

Unless, of course, the biglietto is published in a restored secret consistory on the 23rd....