It had been a long time since a consistory for the creation of new cardinals had been held in St. Peter’s Square.
The elected cardinals were present, coming from 15 different countries and more than half of them non-European. Pope Francis explained why it matters to him that the College of Cardinals be so universal—so that those who now wear red do not forget where they received their faith.
“Faith is transmitted “in dialect,” don’t forget this,” Pope Francis said. “Faith is transmitted in dialect, that is, by mothers and grandmothers. Indeed, we are evangelizers to the extent that we retain in our hearts the amazement and gratitude of being evangelized.”
The Pope also pointed out what should be the style that marks the relationships within the College of Cardinals: similar to that of an orchestra. He said this is important for understanding the inner workings of the Church.
“A symphony thrives on the skillful composition of the tones of different instruments,” Pope Francis said. “Each one makes its contribution, sometimes alone, sometimes joined with someone else, sometimes with the whole ensemble. Diversity is necessary, it is indispensable. But each sound must contribute to the common design. And for this, mutual listening is essential: each musician must listen to the others.”
With this statement, the Pope went a step further in defining the style of the Synod. On other occasions, the Pope had pointed out that this assembly was not a parliament. And recently he emphasized its character as a religious event by introducing more moments of prayer during it. In fact, the rule that the press could not have access to the assemblies in order not to disturb the atmosphere was maintained.
In any case, there was an atmosphere of universal celebration in the consistory. One by one, each cardinal knelt before the Pope. Many of the parishioners from the dioceses of the new cardinals burst into loud applause.
One of the cardinals could not be present for health reasons—96-year-old Capuchin Luis Pascual Dri. He is the simple confessor at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii in Buenos Aires. The Pope created him as a cardinal as a recognition for his exemplary life.