Saturday, 22 February 2014

Sacred Consistory for the Creation of the New Cardinals

This morning on the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Pope Francis created 19 new Cardinals during a Sacred Consistory in Saint Peter's Basilica. A surprise guest was Pope Benedict: his first visit to the Basilica since his final Mass as Supreme Pontiff almost exactly one year ago.

In a kindly gesture, Pope Francis left the procession to approach and greet his predecessor, who was seated in a place of honour amongst College of Cardinals. Observing the proper mark of respect, Pope Benedict removed his zucchetto in the presence of the Bishop of Rome.

As the presence of Pope Benedict was announced at the beginning of the Consistory, the congregation erupted into applause (despite an earlier announced request that there was to be no applause during the Rites). Pope Benedict looked in excellent health: ad multos annos.

We are pleased to include these images from Getty Images and stills from the CTV telecast.

Pope Benedict greeting his Successor.

Cardinal Bertone greeting Pope Benedict.

Members of the Sacred College surround Pope Benedict
upon his unexpected arrival in the Basilica.

Pope Francis imposing the biretta on the Archbishop of Westminster.