NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There was a landmark moment at the Vatican over the weekend.
As CBS 2’s Mary Calvi reported, it was the first time in history that a reigning, a past and a potential future pope were in St. Peter’s Basilica together.
It was a historic moment as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI made his entrance at the Vatican.
“It was extraordinarily moving. We didn’t know he was coming. So there we are, and he makes his very humble, shy, discreet entrance on the side that people nearby were erupting in applause, and we were like little kids. All of a sudden, we just ran up to him to greet him,” New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan said Monday on CBS This Morning.
Saturday marked the first time ever a past pope, a present pope and a number of cardinals who may be the next pope were all gathered together.
Cardinal Dolan said one symbolic gesture stood out to him as incredibly moving. The past pope removed what is called the zucchetto, or skullcap.
“It was very moving to see Pope Benedict, that act of humility and allegiance. It reminded us of what he said, remember a year ago when he met with the College of Cardinals for the last time, and he said ‘one of you is going to be the new pope and I look forward to giving my love, loyalty and allegiance to the new pope,'”
All were gathered as Pope Francis bestowed 19 prelates with the red silk biretta that marks them as Princes of the Church, creating the cardinals who will elect their successor in an unprecedented blending of papacies past, present and future.
Pope Francis’ message to the new cardinals was perhaps also aimed at the Curia, or the church hierarchy.
“Whenever a worldly mentality predominates,” Francis said, “the result is rivalry, jealousy and, factions.”
“He’s honest, he’s prophetic, he’s a good spiritual director, he’s our father, he’s calling out what’s best in us and we need to hear it,” said Dolan.
New cardinals are appointed to replace those who turn 80 and become ineligible to elect a new pope.
If Francis remains in the papacy for another five years, he will have named as many as half of those who will choose his successor.
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