Pope Francis pays visit to predecessor with elevated cardinals

Pope Francis on Saturday paid a visit to his predecessor with 11 of the 13 newly elevated cardinals who were raised to the highest rank in the Catholic hierarchy earlier in the day.  

The cardinals and Francis paid a visit to Pope Benedict XVI, 93, who lives on the grounds of the Vatican and served as pope from 2005 to 2013. 

Benedict has been living in the Vatican gardens since 2013, citing health reasons, according to ABC

Footage from the visit captured by ABC News shows Francis leading the cardinals into a room where his predecessor is seated. The current pope kissed Benedict’s hands, and the other cardinals followed suit.  

The group then took their seats in front of Benedict and sang a hymn. 

The visit comes after the pope elevated 13 new cardinals. Only 11 attended the ceremony in person in Rome and received their red hats from Francis, according to a report from ABC.

Two cardinals from Brunei and the Philippines watched the ceremony that took place at Saint Peter’s Basilica from home, yielding to travel restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the news outlet. 

Social distancing was required for most of the ceremony, but many cardinals opted to go mask-less when they approached Francis to get their red caps.

Francis warned the cardinals not to become too proud because of their new status.

“Let’s think of so many types of corruption in the life of the priesthood,” Francis said, according to the news course.

He continued stating that if they become arrogant “[Y]ou won’t be pastors close to the people, you’ll just be ‘Eminence.’ And if you feel this way, you’ll have strayed off the road.”

All cardinal candidates underwent 10 days of quarantine at the pope’s hotel, which was required by the Vatican, in order to participate in Saturday’s ceremony, according to ABC News.

The naming of the new cardinals on Saturday marked a total of 73 cardinals that Francis has named, 34 more than his predecessor, ABC News reported. 

Tags new cardinals Pope Francis Pope Francis The Vatican

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