Friday, November 19, 2010

Jesuit On Cardinals Consistory

It's 'Consistory time' in the Vatican this weekend. Today Pope Benedict presides over an extraordinary consistory behind closed doors with all the cardinals. Tommorrow he creates 24 new cardinals in an ordinary public consistory. But what exactly does this word being bandied about here in the Vatican really mean? Jesuit , Professor Norman Tanner, Dean of Church History at the Pontifical Gregorian University helps us better understand: " there are two types, one is when the pope gathers the cardinals to seek their advice and then the second type of consistory is when the pope announces the cardinals to the people..." Professor Tanner also explains the historical backdrop to consistories in continuity with today: "..consistories as we know them really go back to the late ten hundreds when we had the revival of the papacy and the beginning really of the College of cardinals that stage virtually all of the cardinals were heads of the departments of the Curia in Rome,we didn't have cardinals in Britain or the United States ..." Our Jesuit historian also patiently replies to some rather more quirky questions, regarding the symbolism of scarlet , secrecy, questioning of power and envy in papal circles ..
Listen to this interview with Veronica Scarisbrick (here) at Vatican Radio

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