Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Receive the Red Biretta...."

Say good morning to Cardinal Burke, everybody.

And here, at long last, Donald Cardinal Wuerl....

Coming in at just under two hours, the Consistory is over, and the photos are just now beginning to come in over the wire.

In his homily at the the rites adding 24 new members of the College of Cardinals, B16 emphasized the "singular and precious collaboration" his "Senate" provides in the "high mandate given by Christ to Peter, of feeding his sheep, to join peoples together with the care of the love of Christ."

When it came time to confer the famous scarlet birette moments later, the church's Wisconsin-born "chief justice" was given the 5th century Baroque gem of Sant'Agata dei Goti for his diaconal church, while Washington's new cardinal received the title of San Pietro in Vincoli -- St Peter in Chains -- the family church of the della Rovere clan of nobles and Popes, one of whom commissioned Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel. (Among other treasures, the church features the master's statue of Moses.)

Following lunch and meet-ups with their own pilgrim groups, the new cardinals will proceed to one of Consistory Week's traditional high-points: the open evening reception in the Apostolic Palace which comprises the only time many of the papal residence's state apartments are open to the public.

That said, such is the number of new cardinals this time that a sizable chunk of the fresh intake -- Wuerl included -- won't be taking up their places in the rooms designed by Bernini or Pinturicchio's Borgia Apartments, but in the Paul VI Audience Hall on the other side of St Peter's Basilica.

As ever, more to come.