Two Cardinals-designate Will Be Absent from Nov. 28 Consistory, Vatican Confirms

Pope Francis creates new cardinals at a consistory in St. Peter’s Basilica on Oct. 5, 2019. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

The Vatican confirmed Monday that two cardinals-designate will not receive their red hats from Pope Francis in Rome this Saturday, November 28.

The Holy See press office said Nov. 23 that Cardinal-designate Cornelius Sim, the Apostolic Vicar of Brunei, and Cardinal-designate Jose F. Advincula of Capiz, in the Philippines, would not be able to attend the Nov. 28 consistory because of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The press office said that a representative of Pope Francis would present them with the biretta, cardinal’s ring and title connected with a Roman parish “at another time to be determined.”

It added that existing members of the College of Cardinals unable to travel to Rome for the consistory would be able to follow the occasion via a livestream. 

The ordinary public consistory for the creation of new cardinals will take place at 4 p.m. local time at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica, with a congregation of around a hundred people. The new cardinals will not follow the custom of receiving well-wishers after the ceremony because of coronavirus restrictions.

The new cardinals will concelebrate Mass with the pope in St. Peter’s Basilica at 10 a.m. local time on Sunday, Nov. 29.

Pope Francis announced Oct. 25 that he would create 13 new cardinals, including Archbishop Wilton Gregory.

Gregory, who was appointed Archbishop of Washington in 2019, will become the first Black cardinal of the United States. 

Other cardinals-designate include Maltese Bishop Mario Grech, who became secretary general of the Synod of Bishops in September, and the Italian Bishop Marcello Semeraro, who was named prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in October. 

Also receiving the red hat is the Italian Capuchin Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, who has served as the Preacher to the Papal Household since 1980. Aged 86, he will not be eligible to vote in a future conclave.

Cantalamessa told CNA Nov. 19 that Pope Francis had permitted him to become a cardinal without being ordained a bishop.

Also appointed to the College of Cardinals are Archbishop Celestino Aós Braco of Santiago, Chile; Archbishop Antoine Kambanda of Kigali, Rwanda; Archbishop Augusto Paolo Lojudice, former Rome auxiliary bishop and current Archbishop of Siena-Colle di Val d’Elsa-Montalcino, Italy; and Fra Mauro Gambetti, Custos of the Sacred Convent of Assisi. 

Gambetti was ordained a bishop on Sunday in the Upper Church of the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

Alongside Cantalamessa, the pope named three others who will receive the red hat but be unable to vote in conclaves: Emeritus Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico; Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, Permanent Observer Emeritus to the United Nations Office and Specialized Agencies in Geneva; and Msgr. Enrico Feroci, parish priest of Santa Maria del Divino Amore at Castel di Leva, Rome.

Feroci was ordained a bishop in his parish church by Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, vicar general of the Diocese of Rome, on Nov. 15.

Cardinal-designate Sim has overseen the Apostolic Vicariate of Brunei Darussalam since 2004. He and three priests serve the roughly 20,000 Catholics who live in Brunei, a small but wealthy state on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia.

In an interview with Vatican News, he described the Church in Brunei as a “periphery within a periphery.”


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