Archbishop Vincent Nichols to become cardinal in Rome ceremony
Friday 21st February 2014
Archbishop Nichols is one of 19 new cardinals being created by Pope Francis
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales is to become a cardinal at a ceremony in Rome
Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, is to be created a cardinal by Pope Francis
Cardinals, who wear red hats and robes, are the most senior clergymen in the Roman Catholic Church below the pope
Archbishop Nichols is one of 19 new cardinals being appointed and, because he is under 80, will be eligible to elect the pope's successor
During Saturday's ceremony at St Peter's Basilica, known as a consistory, the 68-year-old will kneel before the pope and have a scarlet biretta placed on his head and will receive a ring
The reason the biretta is red is to symbolise each wearer's willingness to give their lives for the Catholic faith
Each bishop being appointed will promise fidelity to the death to the pope
Following the ceremony, there are typically various receptions held in the Vatican. They are often held on the first floor of the Apostolic Palace, but they have also been held in the Audience Hall and Vatican Museum
The pope and the 19 new cardinals - who hail from 15 different countries, including the likes of South Korea, the Ivory Coast and Burkino Faso - celebrate Mass in St Peter's Basilica the next day
Archbishop Nichols is the 11th Archbishop of Westminster to receive the honour of becoming a cardinal
The archbishop, who was born in Liverpool, has been recently critical of the government's benefit changes
Earlier this month, he called the coalition's welfare reforms a "disgrace" that had left vulnerable people facing "hunger and destitution"
On the day it was announced he would become a cardinal, Archbishop Nichols said it was a "humbling moment"
He said it would enable him to "on behalf of all, to serve the pope in a direct and prolonged way"