Roman Catholics: Toned-Down Consistory

Once Roman Catholic cardinals, upon elevation to the title, humbly kissed the Pope's foot and afterwards lay prostrate before an altar while solemn prayers were said for them. Last week, when Paul VI presented 27 clerics with their red hats,* they swore their fealty standing up. The creation of a cardinal is still one of the world's most imposing religious ceremonies, but in the spirit of the Catholic aggiornamento Paul has made some measured simplifications.

His new ceremonial cut the number of consistories from four to two. It also abolished the quaint little ceremony in which the cardinals opened and...

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