Mario Grech first to greet Holy Father during Consistory for new cardinals reports Vatican implementing strict COVID-19 measures

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

It has been reported that at the beginning of the celebration of the Consistory for the Creation of new cardinals scheduled to take place on Saturday, November 28th, Cardinal Mario Grech will be the first to greet the Holy Father.

A month ago, Pope Francis announced that Bishop Emeritus Mgr Mario Grech is among thirteen individuals who will be raised to the rank of cardinals.

Mgr Grech is the Secretary-General of the Synod of Bishops.

In a statement from Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, it was confirmed that the occasion will be celebrated on Saturday, November 28, at 4 pm. He clarified that Cardinals-elect Cornelius Sim, Apostolic Vicar of Brunei, and Jose F. Advincula, Archbishop of Capiz, Philippines, will not be able to be present but will still be created Cardinals in the Consistory. He added that a representative of the Holy Father, at another time to be determined, will give them the hat, the ring and the bull with the title. However, they will be able to join the Celebration, participating remotely through a digital platform that will allow them to connect with the Vatican Basilica.

The Vatican also discussed how the coming celebration of the Consistory for the Creation of new cardinals will be operating in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a Vatican & Rome news portal,, it is believed that the following protocols will take place:

  • The usual courtesy visits will not take place
  • The Consistory’s celebrations will not have the shape of the Papal Chapel and will have very limited participation
  • Tickets issued by the Prefecture of the Papal Household will be reserved only for those that will accompany the newly created Cardinals