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Rome Reports

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What is a consistory?

CARD. FRANCESCO MONTERISI Archpriest, Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls "Appointing cardinals is an exclusive duty for the Pope, and there is nothing that limits him. Naturally, there are certain tasks that, according to tradition, can only be carried out by cardinals, such as getting appointed as archpriests to one of the 4 papal basilicas in Rome.� On the day of the consistory, St. Peter's Basilica dons its best regalia to introduce the new cardinals. The College of Cardinals will also be on site to welcome its newest members. CARD. FRANCESCO MONTERISI Archpriest, Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls "My appointment took place in 2010. It was a solemn ceremony. I remember clearly what the Pope said to us that day. He emphasized that, as cardinals, we are at the service of the Church, not temporary things.� During the mass, the Pope will call up the cardinal-designates one by one. He will hand them a ring, a red crest and a papal bull, a document that certifies their appointment as cardinals and their new tasks within the Church. CARD. FRANCESCO MONTERISI Archpriest, Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls "The ring is the sign of communion, of unity, of affection between the Pope and the new cardinal. The red crest is the external symbol to indicates that the person wearing it is a cardinal, and a collaborator of the Pope.� After the ceremony, the new cardinals will spread out within the Apostolic Palace and the Paul VI Hall. They will greet visitors for several hours, in a period Italians refer to as a "warm visit� because of the warmth the new cardinals receive from their visitors. It's a moment of celebration for the Catholic Church in and outside of Rome. BR/RCA MG -JM -PR