Archive image of the consistory of 5 October 2019  (Vatican Media)

By Veronica Scarisbrick

Nov 28 2020

Have you ever wondered what the word “consistory” means? Or where the word “cardinal” comes from?

Saturday’s consistory, during which Pope Francis is set to create thirteen new cardinals, provides us with an opportunity to dig into our archives in search of popular “Latin Lover”, Carmelite Father Reginald Foster’s linguistic expertise.

In a conversation with Veronica Scarisbrick, the Latinist explains how some of the vocabulary surrounding consistories derives from the Latin, including the word cardinal: “Cardinals are the hinges on which the Church revolves…”; we say “to create cardinals” because the word creare means to appoint them…”

Listen to the podcast, presented and produced by Veronica Scarisbrick, in which Father Foster describes the linguistic origin “of all things consistory”, including the red hat:

Vatican News