There are a number of things that make this consistory stand-out from the last 17 spanning 38 years.
So let’s look at what makes this consistory somewhat unusual, and as such, special.
- It is the SMALLEST consistory, in terms of cardinals being created, since Paul VI’s last one in 1977 when only four cardinals were created — but Paul VI, who instituted both the 120 elector limit and the 80-year ‘cut-off’, never exceeded the 120 limit or created any cardinals who were over 80. Benedict XVI, in his last cardinal creating consistory in November 2012, three-months ahead of his resignation, created 6 cardinals — that being the maximum he could create if he were not to exceed the 120-limit.
- The first consistory since March 2006 NOT to be held on a Saturday — the last 7 consistories, four of Benedict XVI’s and three of Francis’ all being Saturday consistories with the celebratory Mass being held on Sunday.
- The first consistory, since John Paul II’s 8th consistory on February 21, 2001 to be held on a Wednesday.
- The first consistory since 1991 to be held on June 28. There is a significance to June 28th. The ‘Feast of Saints Peter and Paul‘, Rome’s two founding Apostles, falls, each year, on June 29. So, by having the consistory on June 28, the Vatican can have the celebratory Mass on this special Feast day. This, as such, is thus a ‘Feast of Saints Peter and Paul‘ consistory. John Paul II was found of such consistories. His 1988 cardinal creating consistory, the one before the 1991 one, was also a June 28 affair. His first ever was on June 30, the day after the feast. Paul VI held two consistories very close to this feast.
- Will create the first ever cardinals from first cardinals from El Salvador, Laos, Mali, and Sweden — as well as the from all of Scandinavia! That is pretty impressive.
- Bishop José Gregorio Rosa Chávez, auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, El Salvador will become the FIRST AUXILIARY BISHOP to be created a cardinal!His superior the Titular Bishop of San Salvador, El Salvador is NOT a cardinal.
- First of Francis’ consistories not to create a curial cardinal. (This was also true of Benedict XVI’s last consistory).
- First of Francis’ consistories not to create an over-80, non-elector cardinal. (This was also true of Benedict XVI’s last consistory). This is incongruous. There are no limits as to the non-electors and he could have created as many as he wanted.
- Barring deaths, there will be 121 cardinal electors following this consistory — and that number will not drop to the CONCLAVE-VALID 120 till February 2018. This would indicate, unless the Pope is aware of a very ill under-80 cardinal, that the Pope does not foresee a conclave ahead of February 2018.After Francis’ 1st cardinal creating consistory there were 122 electors; 125 after the 2nd and 121 after the 3rd. So he has always gone over the 120 limit.….
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