Preview of cardinals' meeting
February 19, 2014
At a briefing for reporters on February 19, Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, provided a preview of the first day of an extraordinary consistory of cardinals, which will be held February 20 and 21.
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the dean of the College of Cardinals, will open the Thursday session with a greeting. Pope Francis will speak next, and will be followed by Cardinal Walter Kasper.
Cardinal Kasper’s talk will be “lengthy,” Father Lombardi said; it will not be open to the press and the full text will not be released. The Vatican spokesman gave the impression that the German cardinal’s address might exhaust the available time for the Thursday-morning session.
The cardinals are scheduled to continue their meeting through Friday, allowing opportunities for other talks and for open discussion. Of the 199 living members of the College of Cardinals, 185 are expected to attend the meeting. The 19 prelates who will be elevated to the College at the consistory of February 23 are also expected, with the exception of the 98-year-old Archbishop Loris Capovilla, whose health will not allow him to attend.