Fr. Raymond J. de Souza: August Anticipation: What to Expect at the Cardinals’ Consistory

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Above, cardinals gather at the ordinary public consistory for the creation of new cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica on Oct. 5, 2019. Three consistories have been scheduled for late this month by Pope Francis. (photo: CNA)

COMMENTARY: A comprehensive analysis of the three consistories taking place this weekend and some key moments to watch.

By Father Raymond J. de Souza, EWTN News, August 23, 2022

In late August the College of Cardinals will have three “consistories” (plenary meetings): the first one an “ordinary consistory,” where Pope Francis will add 20 members to their number; the second, a pro forma and brief ceremony to approve the canonization of new saints; and the third, a two-day “extraordinary” consistory to discuss the recently promulgated constitution governing the Roman Curia, Praedicate Evangelium.

Conclave Preparation

Father Raymond J. de SouzaAs cardinals are dispersed throughout the world — this consistory includes the first cardinals from Singapore, East Timor and Mongolia — consistories are opportunities for them to meet together and size up who might be a future pontiff. Benedict XVI encouraged this by holding extraordinary consistories, a few days of discussion on a particular theme.

Pope Francis did so twice early in his pontificate. At the 2014 extraordinary consistory, Pope Francis invited Cardinal Walter Kasper to deliver a long address arguing in favor of admitting the civilly divorced and remarried to Holy Communion. His arguments were savaged by the assembled eminent brethren, to the extent that the following day the Holy Father had to plead with the cardinals to indulge Cardinal Kasper’s arguments. They didn’t, and thus Pope Francis soured on the experience. This August is the first time he has convoked an extraordinary consistory since 2015. …