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assembly of the cardinals summoned at the discretion of the
It may be private, semi-public or public, according as it is confined to the
cardinals, cardinals and bishops, or cardinals, prelates and laymen. The
function of a consistory is promulgation rather than deliberation. At a private
consistory the pope names new cardinals and other formalities in connexion with
their creation are carried out; the appointment or translation of bishops is
announced; and the pope sometimes expresses his mind on a matter of public
importance in an 'allocution.' In a public consistory the red hat is conferred
on new cardinals. Formalities connected with beatification and canonization take
place at all three varieties of consistory." (Catholic Dictionary)
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