The consistory called by Pope Francis to create 13 new cardinals took place on Saturday, 28 November. Among these was Silvano Maria Tomasi, who some weeks ago was appointed the Pope’s Special Delegate to the Order of Malta, or the interlocuter for the Order’s government in the reform of its Constitutional Charter and the Code.
“Dear brothers, all of us love Jesus, all of us want to follow him, yet we must always be careful to remain on the road. For our bodies can be with him, but our hearts can wander far afield and so lead us off the road,” Pope Francis said to the new cardinals.
Pope Francis’ seventh ordinary consistory was held in full respect of Covid19 health protocols with a very limited congregation. Of the thirteen new cardinals the Pope created, nine are electors and four non-electors as they are over eighty years of age. In the ceremony presided by Pope Francis at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica the cardinals did not give each other the sign of peace, whereas the rites of imposition of the biretta, the consignment of the ring and the assignation of the title were performed as usual.
After the consistory, the Holy Father and the new cardinals visited Pope emeritus Benedict XVI who had participated in the first two consistories called by Pope Francis but not subsequent ones for health reasons.
Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi has been Conventual Chaplain Grand Cross ‘ad honorem’ of the Sovereign Order of Malta since 2007. The Lieutenant of the Grand Master, Fra’ Marco Luzzago and the Sovereign Council offered congratulations and greetings to him on behalf of the Order of Malta’s members worldwide.