This year, there will be no courtesy visits, and each cardinal has a 10-person limit for guests.(via Reuters. Representative image)
This year, there will be no courtesy visits, and each cardinal has a 10-person limit for guests.(via Reuters. Representative image)

New cardinals quarantine in pope’s hotel ahead of consistory

The 10-day quarantines, with Covid-19 tests administered at the start and finish, are just one example of how Saturday’s ceremony to elevate new cardinals is like nothing the Holy See has ever seen.
By Associated Press| Posted by: Harshit Sabarwal | Rome
PUBLISHED ON NOV 27, 2020 08:47 PM IST

The Vatican’s Santa Marta hotel was built to sequester cardinals during papal elections. It’s now sequestering soon-to-be cardinals in town for this weekend’s ceremony to get their red hats: A handful are in protective coronavirus quarantine, confined to their rooms on Vatican orders and getting meals delivered to their doors.

The 10-day quarantines, with Covid-19 tests administered at the start and finish, are just one example of how Saturday’s ceremony to elevate new cardinals is like nothing the Holy See has ever seen.

“They told me it would be like this but I didn’t think it would be so strict!” marveled Cardinal-designate Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, the retired archbishop of Chiapas, Mexico.

During a Zoom call with The Associated Press from his hotel room, Esquivel said he had thought there might be some exceptions to the lockdown for new cardinals. “No! Here, it doesn’t matter if you’re a cardinal or a pope. The virus doesn’t respect anyone,” he said.

Pope Francis on Saturday will elevate 13 clerics to the College of Cardinals, the elite group of red-robed churchmen whose primary task is to elect a new pope. It’s the seventh time Francis has named a new batch of cardinals since his election in 2013, and his imprint is increasingly shifting the balance of power away from Europe and toward the developing world.

The Vatican has said two new cardinals won’t make it to Rome for the ceremony, known as a consistory, because of Covid-19 and travel concerns: The Vatican’s ambassador to Brunei, Cardinal-designate Cornelius Sim, and the archbishop of Capiz, Philippines, Cardinal-designate Jose Advincula.

The Vatican is arranging for them, and any of the cardinals who might not make it, to participate in the ceremony remotely from their homes. They’ll get their three-pointed “biretta” hats from a Vatican ambassador or another envoy.

For those who are participating in person, the public health crisis has posed an unusual set of challenges. Italy, where the pandemic erupted in late February, is currently in the throes of a second wave. The Vatican itself has returned to a modified lockdown in recent weeks, with the Vatican Museums shuttered and a dozen Swiss Guards testing positive.

Francis, 83, has been criticized for his rather lax mask usage, but he has abided by social distancing measures to a degree. He too lives at Santa Marta, where there has been at least one positive case reported in recent months.

Usually, consistories are full of parties and crowds: Cardinals come to town with family, friends and sometimes benefactors and parishioners who get to see the new “princes of the church” up close and then attend receptions and dinners in their honour. Under normal circumstances, the consistory would be followed by “courtesy visits,” where the new cardinals greet well-wishers and the general public from the grandeur of their own reception rooms in the Apostolic Palace or Vatican auditorium.

This year, there will be no courtesy visits, and each cardinal has a 10-person limit for guests. For Esquivel, no one other than his secretary travelled with him from Mexico, so he’s inviting some priests from the residence where Mexican clergy working or studying in Rome live.

“We don’t have contact with practically anyone. It’s total isolation, but it’s necessary,” he said.

Esquivel is one of four cardinals over age 80 who are joining the college as honorary members, named by Francis to recognize their lifetime of service to the church. The other nine are under age 80 and eligible to vote in a conclave to eventually choose Francis’ successor.

History’s first Latin American pope has long sought to name cardinals from the “peripheries,” to show the universal nature of the church and boost small communities, where Catholics are a minority, with high-profile leaders.

As of Saturday, there will be 128 voting-age cardinals, 42% from Europe. The Pew Research Center notes that in 2013 Europeans made up 52% of the voting-age block, evidence of Francis’ effort to decrease the strength of Europeans as a voting bloc and give greater visibility to church leaders from Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Among the new voting age cardinals is the first African-American, Cardinal-designate Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Washington, D.C.

He too is concluding his quarantine in the Santa Marta hotel, where he said his meals are left on a tray outside his door. Gregory said that while he was unable to go out, at least his new red cassock was delivered from Rome’s famous clerical haberdasher, Gammarelli.

In a Zoom call, Gregory explained that a US-based ecclesiastical tailor took his measurements while he was still in Washington and sent them to Gammarelli, which then made the robes to order and sent them to Santa Marta.

“I have them now. They fit!” he said.

Fashion aside, Gregory said he was humbled by Francis’ decision to make him a cardinal and said he would return to a United States still in the throes of the pandemic with hope that vaccines against the virus will soon work.

“I hope we can use them effectively to protect people and ... once this pandemic is brought under control, to face the future with hope,” he said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
With Biden administration now imminent, many belligerents are softening their tone in anticipation of a more active American role in the region.
With Biden administration now imminent, many belligerents are softening their tone in anticipation of a more active American role in the region.

Biden has already calmed the Middle East

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 01:24 PM IST
There is every prospect other Arab states will join the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan in normalizing relations with Israel — Oman and Qatar are the likeliest. Even Hamas in Gaza seems open to terms of cohabitation with the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.
Close
The new elected Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party leader Armin Laschet wears a face mask with the CDU logo, at the end of the party's 33rd congress held online amidst the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, in Berlin, Germany.(Reuters)
The new elected Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party leader Armin Laschet wears a face mask with the CDU logo, at the end of the party's 33rd congress held online amidst the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, in Berlin, Germany.(Reuters)

Merkel’s successor Laschet needs to strike right tone with Biden and EU

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 01:22 PM IST
The challenge for Laschet will be to offer continuity while carving his own path as someone with an eye on running Europe’s dominant economy come September elections.
Close
Signal users might see errors in some chats as a side effect to the outage, but will be resolved in the next update of the app.(Reuters)
Signal users might see errors in some chats as a side effect to the outage, but will be resolved in the next update of the app.(Reuters)

Signal back up after outage

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 01:06 PM IST
Signal has seen a rise in downloads following a change in WhatsApp's privacy terms.
Close
Sindhi Baloch Forum holds anti-Pak protest outside UK Parliament(ANI/ File photo)
Sindhi Baloch Forum holds anti-Pak protest outside UK Parliament(ANI/ File photo)

'350 miles across five states over 22 days': Sindhi community in US

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 01:00 PM IST
Issues such as enforced disappearances, the plight of Sindhi women in Pakistan, environmental problems in Sindh and even something as basic as water has been some of the major concerns for the people of Sindh for decades.
Close
The attack on the judges happened as they were travelling to their office in a court vehicle.(AP representative image)
The attack on the judges happened as they were travelling to their office in a court vehicle.(AP representative image)

Gunmen shoot dead 2 women Supreme Court judges in Kabul

AFP, Kabul
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 12:56 PM IST
The latest attack comes just two days after the Pentagon announced it had cut troop levels in Afghanistan to 2,500.
Close
According to the researchers, heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions are the dominant contributors to temperature increases around the globe.(AP file photo)
According to the researchers, heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions are the dominant contributors to temperature increases around the globe.(AP file photo)

Greenhouse gas, pollution cause regional impacts on extreme fire weather: Study

PTI, Los Angeles
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 01:12 PM IST
Greenhouse gas, air pollution cause distinct regional impacts on extreme fire weather: Study
Close
Afghan firefighters work at the site of a bombingh attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. A roadside bomb exploded in Afghanistan's capital Sunday, killing at least a few people in a vehicle, the latest attack to take place even as government negotiators are in Qatar to resume peace talks with the Taliban. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)(AP)
Afghan firefighters work at the site of a bombingh attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. A roadside bomb exploded in Afghanistan's capital Sunday, killing at least a few people in a vehicle, the latest attack to take place even as government negotiators are in Qatar to resume peace talks with the Taliban. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)(AP)

2 women government workers killed, 1 injured in Kabul

ANI, Kabul
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 12:15 PM IST
The attack comes a day after the United States announced that it has reduced the number of its troops to 2,500 in Afghanistan.
Close
It is for the first time ever that so many Indian-Americans have been roped into a presidential administration.(AP)
It is for the first time ever that so many Indian-Americans have been roped into a presidential administration.(AP)

List of 20 Indian-Americans nominated for key roles in Biden administration

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Susmita Pakrasi, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 12:11 PM IST
Kamala Harris is also the first ever Indian-origin and African American to be sworn in as the vice president of the United States.
Close
The viscera and lungs were sent for forensic examination to ascertain the cause of death and samples of the deceased were taken for Covid 19.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The viscera and lungs were sent for forensic examination to ascertain the cause of death and samples of the deceased were taken for Covid 19.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Deaths, self-immolation draw scrutiny on China tech giants

AP, Hong Kong
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 12:10 PM IST
For white-collar workers in the technology industry, pay is better than in some industries but employees are often expected to work 12 hours a day or more.
Close
Customers sit outside restaurants in the Robertson Quay area of Singapore,(Bloomberg)
Customers sit outside restaurants in the Robertson Quay area of Singapore,(Bloomberg)

Singapore to require Covid-19 testing for all inbound travelers

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 11:41 AM IST
At present, Singapore only requires travelers who are not citizens or permanent residents, and who have recent travel history to high-risk countries or regions, to take a PCR test 72 hours before departure.
Close
Visitors wear masks as they visit the iconic Yellow Crane Tower, a popular tourist site in Wuhan.(AP Photo)
Visitors wear masks as they visit the iconic Yellow Crane Tower, a popular tourist site in Wuhan.(AP Photo)

China 'systematically prevented' probe into Covid-19 origins, says US

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 11:38 AM IST
The state department fact sheet said that the US government has "reason to believe" that several researchers inside the Wuhan institute became sick in autumn of 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak.
Close
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden makes a statement on the US presidential election results during a brief appearance before reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 5. (Reuters file)
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden makes a statement on the US presidential election results during a brief appearance before reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 5. (Reuters file)

Biden to return US to Paris accord, rescind Muslim ban on day one in office

By Yashwant Raj , edited by Vinod Janardhanan
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 11:27 AM IST
His other orders will include the launch of a “100 masking challenge” that will mandate masks on federal property and interstate travel, extend the pause on repayment of and interest on student loans, continued restrictions on evictions and foreclosures; all related to Covid-19.
Close
The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, rose to 119 on Saturday from 79 on Friday.(ANI)
The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, rose to 119 on Saturday from 79 on Friday.(ANI)

China reports 109 new Covid-19 cases to keep concerns simmering before Lunar NY

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 11:25 AM IST
Though the Jan. 16 tally of new cases was less than the previous day's 130, China has in the past week seen the number of daily cases jump to an over 10-month high.
Close
French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian, wearing a protective face mask, leaves following the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, (Reuters)
French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian, wearing a protective face mask, leaves following the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, (Reuters)

France says Iran is building nuclear weapons capacity

Reuters
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 11:05 AM IST
The Islamic Republic's breaches of the nuclear agreement since President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from it in 2018 and subsequently imposed sanctions on Tehran may complicate efforts by President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on Jan. 20, to rejoin the pact.
Close
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, US, January 12, 2021. (Reuters)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, US, January 12, 2021. (Reuters)

US led the world in exposing 'horrific' abuses in Xinjiang, says Mike Pompeo

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 10:57 AM IST
Under Trump administration, the United States spearheaded the campaign against the CCP for its human right abuse in Xinjiang
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP