Rorate Caeli

Consistory announcement Friday at noon?

It is what several different Italian sources say today. The Holy Father would create 15 new Cardinals, and the consistory would be held on Saturday, February 18, the last Saturday before Ash Wednesday (or on the eve of Quinquagesima Sunday, in the immemorial Calendar of the Church of Rome).

The soon-to-be-announced event will be Benedict XVI’s fourth consistory. Cardinals created by Benedict XVI having the right to vote in the conclave will exceed, for the first time, those appointed by Wojtyla. In the November 2010 consistory, half the posts were assigned to heads of dicasteries and offices of the Roman Curia. This time there could be even more. The dicastery heads waiting to be made cardinal are: the Italians Fernando Filoni (Prefect of Propaganda Fide), Domenico Calcagno, (President of APSA), Giuseppe Bertello (President of the Governorship of the State of Vatican City), and Giuseppe Versaldi (President of the Prefect for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See but also Bishop of Alexandria); the Brazilian João Braz de Avi[z] (former Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher) [actually, the Prefect of the Congregation for Religious], the Spaniard Santos Abril y Castelló (Dean of the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore), and the new Major Penitentiary of the Holy Roman Church, the Portuguese Manuel Monteiro Castro, appointed just yesterday. Another Italian curial add to this list is Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

Regarding names in diocesan sees, several names are advanced - it seems likely that the practice of this Pope of avoiding creating Cardinals in sees whose emeriti are still Cardinal-electors will continue.

What about Rino Fisichella?... Remember him? The man responsible for the gravest public curial declarations of the entire pontificate, when he was head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, basically opening the doors, in an article published in L'Osservatore Romano, to abortions in a 'desperate' situation? He is now head of the Pontifical Council for the "New Evangelization", and his name is always present in the lists of possible cardinals. Here's hoping he is not rewarded for his indelible scandalous declaration.