VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis will create his first cardinals during a consistory on February 22, the feast of the Chair of St Peter.
The Pope also was expected to use the occasion “to have a meeting with the cardinals for consultations” immediately before the ceremony, as retired Pope Benedict XVI did in the run-up to his consistories, Holy See spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi said.
No specific dates were given for that meeting.
The names of the new cardinals usually are announced a little more than a month before the consistory itself.
Fr Lombardi told reporters on October 31 that also in mid-February, the Pope would have members of the governing council of the Synod of Bishops meet in preparation for the extraordinary session on the family in October 2014 and to have his Council of Cardinals, the group of eight advisors, hold what would be their third gathering.
The spokesman said the Pope wanted to hold a consistory for the creation of new cardinals during the same time period as the cardinals’ other meetings “to facilitate all these appointments”.