Saturday, November 24, 2007

Parting the Red Sea... and Braving the Deluge

At the last minute, given predictions of a downpour, the consistory might've been moved inside St Peter's, but the Square outside the Vatican basilica was still filled with pilgrims who couldn't fit inside the 7,000 capacity of the world's largest church.

As a result, many of the folks traveled all the way to Rome... ended up watching their hometown cardinal receive his red hat on the jumbotrons.

The rain held up during the rite itself, but at its end, the Pope walked to the front door to both apologize to the overflow and thank them for being "courageously present" amid the forecast deluge.

Saying that the "new cardinals reflect the universality of the church, its catholicity," B16 remarked that "the church speaks in every language, embraces all peoples, all cultures.

"All of us together are the family of God," the pontiff said.

St Peter's Square is a popular post-consistory meeting place for the groups accompanying the new cardinals, and not even the rain -- which began with a vengeance shortly after the consistory wrapped -- could stop that.

If anything, it merely moved the revelers (and their red hatted champions) under the arms of Bernini's Colonnade....

After getting no small amount of prominence inside, Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly got the rockstar treatment from a group of his Chaldean fold after the Main Event....

...and new Cardinal Odilio Scherer of Sao Paulo wasn't terribly happy that his biretta got wet.

All wasn't lost, however -- the successor of Cardinal Claudio Hummes in the world's second-largest archdiocese was eventually given a tarp with which to cover himself.

Clearly, the new gig has its perks.

PHOTOS: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi