Benedict XVI summons the cardinals for an extraordinary consistory

Source: FSSPX News

On November 19, 2010, for the third time in his pontificate, Benedict XVI called an extraordinary consistory at the Vatican.  This working meeting took place on the eve of the ordinary consistory convoked for the creation of 24 new cardinals.  The 203 members of the College of Cardinals—both the veterans and the new ones who were to receive the red zucchetto the next day—are consulted by the pope behind closed doors, according to custom, “on certain grave matters of more frequent occurrence”, as Canon Law provides [can . 353.1].

Benedict XVI has always convoked an extraordinary consistory before each ordinary consistory.  On March 23, 2006, topics on the agenda were the situation of retired bishops, the Society of St. Pius X, the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council and questions pertaining to the dialogue with Islam.  On November 23, 2007, the cardinals dealt with the ecumenical dialogue, defending the family and again the dialogue with Islam.

According to the November 7 issue of L’Avvenire, the daily newspaper of the Italian Bishops Conference, the agenda for the November 19 meeting would include, in the morning, a presentation by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State of the Holy See, on “the situation of religious freedom in the world and the new challenges”, several weeks after the [Special] Synod of Bishops for the Middle East, in which the question of the tragic situation of Christians in that predominantly Muslim region was one of the topics most often mentioned by the Synod Fathers (see DICI no. 224).  Next Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, would speak on “the liturgy in the life of the Church today”, given that a three-year report about the Motu Proprio on the Traditional Mass was supposed to have been sent to the Holy See by the diocesan bishops in early autumn.  In this connection, according to Jean-Marie Guénois, writing in the November 9 issue of Le Figaro, another topic would be the status of the ongoing theological discussions with the Society of St. Pius X.

In the afternoon, the future Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, was to speak on the topic, “Ten years after Dominus Iesus”, the Declaration “on the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church”, which caused a stir when it was published in 2000.  Then Cardinal William Joseph Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, would address two topics:  “the Church’s response to the sexual abuse scandals” and “the Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus” which since November 2009 allows Anglicans to enter the bosom of the Catholic Church.