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Friday, August 18, 2017
Date Posted:

New Cardinals Named By Pope

Excerpts from Guardian 29/10
Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley

Pope John Paul announced 31 new Cardinals on Sunday 28 September.  This is the second largest number of cardinals or “princes of the church” to be appointed at one time.

John Paul (83) will mark his 25th Anniversary as Pope in less than 3 weeks time on 16th October.

The new cardinals will be formally presented with their red hats next month, rather than in February 2004 when the next meeting of cardinals was expected.

On Sunday the Pope read 30 of the 31 names from his study window high in the Vatican to the pilgrims who had gathered for his Sunday address.  He retained one “in pectore” – close to his heart, in secret – likely because of concerns for the candidate’s safety.

Of the 31, only one American was on the list.  This is probably due to the Pope’s displeasure at the paedophile scandal rocking the priesthood in the U.S.A.  However, the disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law, Boston, remains a Cardinal and will be eligible to vote in the next papal election.

Did you know ------

  • Sat 14th Oct – The Pope will meet Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury for the first time and also Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, leader of the Catholic Church in England & Wales.

  • This announcement of new cardinals was the 9th time the Pope has named cardinals during his reign.

  • In 2001 – 44 were named.

  • He has now appointed 226, many more than all his predecessors.  By comparison Pope Paul VI, pope for 14 years, appointed 26.

  • Appointments of cardinals are the sole personal gift of the Pope. (until the 16th century popes were known to appoint relatives and even children!)  However, today a cardinal must be “outstanding in doctrine, virtue, piety and prudence in practical matters”

  • Today there are 195 cardinals, 135 are thought to be under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in the conclave, which will choose the next pope.

  • When a Pope dies a senior member of staff strikes him on the head with a silver hammer and calls his baptismal name to make sure he is not just asleep!

  • After the death of a Pope the conclave meets in the Sistine Chapel.  It is called a conclave because it is held in great secrecy and the Cardinals are locked in, “in-communicado” – for as long as it takes to deliberate and vote.

  • The election of Pope is traditionally a highly political affair.

  • A ‘two-thirds’ majority is required.

  • In 1830 it took 50 days to elect the Pope!

  • When a decision is reached it is signified by a column of white smoke from the Vatican chimney.
Excerpts from Guardian 29/10

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