VATICAN NOVEMBER 22, 2016 (CISA) – Lesotho’s first Cardinal Koto Sabastian Khoarai, OMI, elevated to the office of Cardinal November 19, was not able to travel to Rome for the consistory due to old age and ill-health.
Cardinal Khoarai 87, who is Bishop Emeritus of Mohale’s Hoek, had served as Bishop for 36 years when he retired in 2014. He has been appointed Cardinal-Priest of San Leonardo da Porto Maurizio ad Acilia and will receive the insignia of his new office by a Papal emissary.
The “Red Hat” ceremony to create 17 new Cardinals took place in St. Peter’s Basilica and was presided over by Pope Francis making it his third Consistory.
The ceremony followed along traditional Vatican lines with the new Cardinals kneeling in front of the Pope at the altar of St. Peter’s, where he placed their red hat (biretta) on their heads, as well as putting an episcopal ring on their finger.
In his homily, the Pope underlined the different cultural traditions of the new Cardinals, contrasting those with our own “age of grave problems and issues”.
“We come from distant lands; we have different traditions, skin colour, languages and social backgrounds; we think differently and we celebrate our faith in a variety of rites. None of this makes us enemies; instead it is one of our greatest riches…” he said.
The College of Cardinals is divided into three ranks: Cardinal Bishops, Cardinal Priests and Cardinal Deacons. Most of the Cardinals are Bishops even if they are referred to as Cardinal Priests or Cardinal Deacons.
The Cardinal Bishops and Cardinal Deacons are members of the Roman Curia, heading departments of the Holy See. Cardinal Priests are mostly the senior Archbishops of the world who reside in dioceses. Each has the title of an ancient Diocese in Rome.
The senior Cardinal Bishop is the ‘Dean’ or head of the College. The current Dean is the retired Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano. The Dean presides at the election of a new Pope. The senior Cardinal Deacon is the Cardinal who announces the newly elected Pope to the world.