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Robert Royal is in Rome for the end of the Holy Year of Mercy and the consistory in which Pope Francis will elevate a group of men to the cardinalate. Periodic reports of events in the Holy City will appear here. As First Things commented about Bob’s reporting on the Synod on the Family, his reporting is “required reading for anyone trying to understand the dynamics of that Synod amidst the reportorial and analytic fog...”

Consistory Chronicle: Day 4

On this final day: “The level of nervousness and uncertainty one hears from every quarter in Rome is something without precedent.” Read more.

Consistory Chronicle: Day 3

Fifteen years ago, when I attended my first consistory, I was struck by the prayer that the new cardinals should be prepared to bear witness to Christ, even to the point of death. In those halcyon pre-9/11 days, I both appreciated the sentiment, but thought of it as a remote possibility. Sadly, that’s no longer the case. Read more.

Consistory Chronicle: Day 2

I’ve been in Rome less than a day and my head is already swimming with rumors – and several indisputable facts – surrounding what might otherwise have been an ordinary weekend consistory to welcome new cardinals. Read more.

Consistory Chronicle: Day One

The first Consistory (the formal event where the pope elevates new members to the College of Cardinals) that I ever attended was in 2001. . . . At the time, we did not notice that the list . . . included . . . an obscure Argentine prelate: one Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Read more.