Francis to create his first cardinals in February

Francis with cardinal council

Pope Francis will create his first cardinals during a consistory February 22, the feast of the Chair of St Peter, reports the Catholic News Service.

The Pope also is expected to use the occasion 'to have a meeting with the cardinals for consultations immmediately before the ceremony, as retired Pope Benedict XVI did in the run-up to his consistories, said Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, Vatican spokesman. No specific dates were given for that meeting.

The names of the new cardinals usually are announced a little more than a month before the consistory itself.

Father Lombardi told reporters yesterday that also in mid-February, the Pope will have members of the governing council of the Synod of Bishops meet in preparation for the extraordinary session on the family in October 2014, and to have his Council of Cardinals, the group of eight advisers, hold what will be their third gathering.

The spokesman said that the Pope wanted to hold a consistory for the creation of new cardinals during the same time period as the cardinals' other meetings [to facilitate all these appointments.'

The group of eight cardinals will probably meet February 17 and 18, Father Lombardi said, to continue their work on helping the pope reform the Roman Curia. The group met October 1-3 and scheduled its second meeting at the Vatican for early December.

The synod council will meet February 24-25, Father Lombardi said, to discuss the extraordinary synod the pope convoked for October 5-19, 2014, to discuss the 'pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation.'

FULL COVERAGE

Francis to create first cardinals in February (CNS)

Pope to create his first cardinals (The Tablet)

Pope to create first cardinals next February (The Catholic Herald)

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