At the end of the celebration of the Ordinary Public Consistory, which took place on November 28, 2020, Pope Francis and the eleven new cardinals present in Rome went to visit the former Sovereign Pontiff, who received them in the private chapel of the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican.
The video released by Vatican information services shows a smiling Benedict XVI, warmly greeted by the Argentine pontiff. Neither of them wore a mask.
“In an atmosphere of affection, the cardinals - at least eleven of the thirteen who were able to go to Rome - were presented individually to Benedict XVI, who expressed his joy at meeting them, then imparted his blessing to them, after the singing of the Salve Regina,” stated Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See press room.
Images which also show Bishop Georg Gänswein, who was all smiles when presenting, one by one, the new porporati to the host of the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, each coming to bow before the former pontiff.
They seem far - at least this is what appears through this staging - from the heavy climate last February that followed the publication of a book by Cardinal Sarah defending priestly celibacy, containing several written passages from the hand of Benedict XVI, transmitted by his private secretary, without having referred to the current Pope.
The footage published by Vatican Media provided reassurance about the former pope’s state of health, who had recovered well from a recent bout with facial shingles, which caused him great suffering.
Finally, a consistory comes to a close when another is already rearing its head: in its November 29 edition, Il Tempo claims that Pope Francis will consider holding an extraordinary consistory within six months, the second of his pontificate, with the goal to definitively act on the reform of the Curia, and to consecrate a “Church of the poor” which would henceforth deal with “the little ones, rather than with doctrine.”
Does the daily have reliable sources, or is it just peddling rumors? The future will tell.