Wednesday, 26 February 2014

First Franciscan Consistory

Some interesting assignments of churches

Two assignments have a Scottish connection.

Cardinal Nichols is not expected to visit the Barras any time soon despite having been assigned as his titular church Santissimo Redentore e Sant’ Alfonso in via Merulana, the Redemptorist church in Rome dedicated to their founder. Neo-Gothic in design, that design was authored in the early 1850s by a Scot, George Wigley, the building being erected between 1855 and 1860. Wigley is often mistakenly identified as English because he was one of the thirteen founders of the Society of Saint Vincent DePaul in London in or about 1844 after he had written, at his friend Frederick Ozanam’s suggestion, some letters to The Tablet, then still a Catholic publication, about the organisation newly formed at Paris. (For non-Scottish readers, the Barras,a major mixed street/indoor market in the East End of Glasgow, is located in the parish of St Alphonsus. Many Catholic visitors to one of a Sunday take the opportunity to visit the other.)

The Korean Cardinal, Andrew Yeom Soo-jung (70, South Korea), was assigned the church of San Crisogono (the martyr Chrysogonus). This was the titular church of Gioacchino Pecci, Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903). This Pope Leo’s first formal act on the first working day following his coronation (Monday, March 4, 1878) was to sign Ex supremo Apostolatus apice, the Apostolic Letter by which the Episcopal Hierarchy in Scotland was restored. A further Scottish interest derives from the fact that Archbishop Leo Cushley’s first boss when he was missioned to Burundi was Archbishop Emil Paul Tscherrig (67, Swiss). He was later Apostolic Nuncio to South Korea, and Mongolia, 2004-08.

San Crisogono had earlier been the titular church of Camillo Borghese, Pope Paul V (1605-21). This particular Borghese Pope is admired in some quarters for purportedly having put out a contract on the life of a canon lawyer who had seriously discomfited him, Fr Paolo Sarpi, and, in others, for having founded “il Banco di Santo Spiritu” (The Bank of the Holy Sprit). This was the first national bank in Europe (being the bank of the Papal States) and the first bank in Rome in which the general public could lodge funds (and receive loans from). (The Vatican only lost control of the bank when it was nationalised by Mussolini’s Fascist government in 1935).

The photograph below of the Korean Bishops and His Excellency Archbishop Tscherrig was taken in St Peter’s Basilica on the morning of Monday, November 26, 2007. The second consistory of Pope Benedict’s pontificate had been held on the Saturday before. The Korean bishops were on their ad limina pilgrimage. I believe Cardinal Yeom Soo-yung is third from the right (the second prelate on the right).



Before the consistory, there were 157 titular churches in Rome and 13 of them had no cardinal protector. However, 16 of the new cardinals were being assigned to the order of Cardinals Priest (the presbyteral order of cardinals). In consequence, three of the new cardinals were assigned new titular churches established on the day (February 22, 2014) especially for this consistory: Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin (59), Santi Simone e Giuda Taddeo a Torre Angela (Saints Simon and Jude Thaddeus); Chibly Langlois, Bishop of Les Cayes, Haiti, San Giacomo in Augusta, and; Fernando SebastiĆ”n Aguilar (84, Spain), Sant’ Angela Merici.

One of Pope Francis’s first acts as Pope was to appoint his former Auxiliary Bishop (2002-08) Mario Aurelio Poli (66) to succeed himself as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. He has now also assigned him his own former titular church, San Roberto Bellarmino.

Philippe Nakellentuba OuĆ©draogo (69, Burkino Faso) was assigned Santa Maria Consolatrice al Tiburtino, which had been Pope Benedict XVI’s titular church.

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