B16 Presents: The "Chito Consistory"
On a history note, today's shock announcement of a consistory a month from today to elevate six new cardinals marks the first time since 1929 that the Pope's "Senate" will see two separate intakes within the same calendar year.
At the same time, there was an even shorter interval – all of three and a half months – between two groups created by Blessed John XXIII in December 1959 and March 1960.
Named to his post a year ago last week, the singing, weeping, bike-riding and YouTubing 55 year-old head of Asia's largest diocese – a member of the progressive-leaning "Bologna school" team of Vatican II historians – clearly hasn't been dubbed the "golden child" for nothing...
...and in his first comments following the news, Cardinal-designate Luis Antonio Tagle (Pron.: "Tahg-lay") of Manila quickly took to Vatican Radio to reiterate his Synod call for the church to be something better than "a triumphalistic, a 'know-it-all' type of institution."
With the 63 year-old Milwaukee native's transfer to the basilica of St Paul's Outside the Walls – the first American ever to hold one of the "Big Five" posts in the Secretariat of State – the job of a overseeing a papal court that's fallen under scrutiny in the wake of the "Vatileaks" fiasco likewise opens up, prompting a heady succession stakes all its own. (The cardinal-to-be is shown left welcoming Barack Obama to the Apostolic Palace on the President's July 2009 visit to the Pope.)
In a first, meanwhile, alongside his ordination classmate – now the church's "chief justice" – on Harvey's impending elevation, two Roman cardinals will have come from Wisconsin roots.