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Elderly cardinal-elect will not attend February 22 consistory

February 20, 2014

Archbishop Loris Capovilla, who was named by Pope Francis to be elevated to the College of Cardinals on February 23, will not attend the Saturday consistory.

Archbishop Capovilla, who is 98 years old, revealed that he had asked the Pope to dispense him from the obligation to attend the consistory. “I’m not strong enough and I feel uncomfortable at the thought of meeting so many people,” he explained. He will receive his red hat in a private ceremony, probably on March 1, at his home in Sotto il Monte, Italy, which he has not left for several months.

The cardinal-elect—whose mind is sharp despite his physical infirmity—emphasized that he was grateful for the honor being conferred upon him. He said that he had purchased red vestments appropriate to his new status.

Pope Francis named Archbishop Capovilla to the College of Cardinals as a gesture to honor the Italian prelate, who was the private secretary to Blessed John XXIII, for his long years of service to the Church. Because he is over 80 he is not eligible to participate in a papal election.


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