Religion: The Princes of the Church

At 9:30 one morning last week, Pope John XXIII, walking briskly, crossed the threshold of the Vatican's Consistory Hall, followed in order of seniority by 29 purple-clad cardinals. As soon as he was seated on his throne, the papal master of ceremonies cried out, in accordance with" the rubrics of this historic ritual, "Extra omnes [Everyone outside]" A host of attending bishops and monsignori, the chamberlains and members of the Noble Guard bowed to the throne and withdrew; the doors were closed. The Pope, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Christ, and absolute ruler...

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