Today on the feast of the Chair of Peter, Pope Francis gave red birettas to new Cardinals. These men will advise the Pope, work in the curia and will elect a new Pope from among themselves; granted they are younger than 80.
They wear a bright red to symbolize that they are called to shed blood in order to protect and defend the faith.
However, a big surprise took place when at a side entrance Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI entered with a small group. When the crowd saw him, they immediately gave him a standing ovation and cheered, some were visibly tearful. Pope Benedict XVI waved and smiled back at the crowd as he took a seat on aisle next to the Cardinals-elect.
This surprise appearance may signal more involvement of the Pope Emeritus in liturgies. It is
expected that he may be present for the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. If so, this will be the first time two living Popes will be present at the canonization of two Popes who have passed on to the Lord. This will indeed be exciting to see.
Moreover, Pope Benedict XVI’s presence created the scenario where a retired Pope, current Pope and possible future Pope from among the Cardinals were present in the same place. It was great to see Pope Benedict XVI.
He sat quietly and made a very humble gesture by removing his zucchetto before Pope Francis which is a gesture bishops/cardinals do out of respect for the Pope. To see a Pope do that for another Pope is something that is a sign of humility.