Dear Blog Readers, I have been busy this week preparing for today’s Consistory during which 22 men were raised to Cardinals. During a majestic ceremony today in Saint Peter’s Basilica, each of the Cardinal-designates knelt in front of the Pope who placed a Cardinal’s red biretta hat on each one’s head and slid a cardinal’s ring on each one’s finger. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York was the most jolly of the bunch and told the press afterwards that he owes it all to New Yorkers and he wants to hang his hat on the top of the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty or on Home Plate at Yankee Stadium. He also said he wants to shoot for sainthood now, but admitted that he has “a long way to go.” I had a chance to interview his lovely Irish school teacher (1st, 2nd and 5th grade) Sister Briscoe Daly who was proud as a peacock of her former student. Several other new Cardinals had big crowds there to cheer them on. John Ton, the new Cardinal from Hong Kong had a large Chinese group waving little Chinese flags, and George Alencherry of India had elegant women in saris, and petite Indian nuns gathered round him.
Here are a few photos to give my readers a behind-the-scenes peek at the day.
9:30am – I couldn’t resist the temptation to take a picture of Petra Plank who was carrying an extremely heavy tripod into St. Peter’s Basilica for the ceremony. She and the rest of the ORF team are working on a documentary on the Cardinals. Petra and I were among the dozens of journalists from around the world covering the event.
10:30am Once inside I snapped a shot of the pom-pom on a the hat of a bishop who just happened to be seated below the platform for journalists.
11am There are strict rules for how one must dress when covering events at the Vatican (See Watch Your Tongue, Hands and Eyes). I noticed one correspondent from a local TV from New York got most of the outfit right, except for the shoes. I snapped this photo of her feet as she stood near me.
She may also be interested in reading my post on clothing rules for women in Italy (See Sweatpants at the Supermarket)
On Friday, February 17th (note that in Italy Friday the 17th is the equivalent of our Friday the 13th, in other words, bad luck) the Cardinals gathered for a day long meeting that was over-shadowed by recent infighting and political intrigues at the Vatican (See Report of Plot to Kill the Pope).
As I was leaving the Vatican I noticed this spooky black cat and decided to take his picture.
Black and Red, overall it has been a colorful week of Vatican coverage.