New Cardinals in 2010???

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Cardinal apparel.jpegAt the moment there are 112 cardinal electors should we have to elect a new pope. The papally imposed number of 120 is usually enshrined in our minds but we can conceivably have more (or fewer) should a reigning pontiff decide the matter. Pope John Paul II confirmed certain norms in a document Universi Dominici Gregis in 1996. Nevertheless, in 2010, 11 cardinals of the Holy Roman Church will lose their ability to vote in a papal conclave because they will turn 80. Their Eminences, Cardinals Ambrozic, Maida, Williams, Herranz, McCarrick, Poupard, DiGiorgio, Daoud, Giordano, Tumi, Pujats. You'll notice that 2 are from the USA and 1 from Canada.

Pope Benedict has already had two consistories (2006 & 2007) making 38 cardinals. Mind you, some were ineligible to vote in a conclave from the first day of the cardinalate.

So, it is very likely that the Holy Father could create new cardinals in 2010.

Regarding bishops, at the moment there are, in 2010, 11 bishops submitting a letter of resignation to the Holy Father because they're 75, there are 4 who turned 75 in 2009 (and no replace nominated yet) and there remain 6 empty dioceses. If no one dies or gets into trouble, the USA could see 21 new bishops.


I think a major factor is that the Holy Father has expressed publicly and privately his intent not to exceed the 120 members of the Sacred College, which never constrained JPII, despite the fact that he promulgated Universi Dominici Gregis. This means allowing many of the members of the Sacred College who serve as bishops to remain in office past age 75 and/or not elevating their successors until they are superannuated.

In the U.S. it will be interesting to see if His Excellency, Archbishop Vigneron, will be created cardinal even after Cardinal Maida turns 80. My bet is that Houston now has Detroit's red hat. I would also expect, at some indeterminate point in the not so distant future, Miami will be a cardinaltial see.

I am most interested to see if the Holy Father decides to have a consistory this year or next.

I missed seeing you NYC this year as I wasn't there. I asked Kim to convey my good wishes to you.


The Supreme Legislator can do what he wants, even breaking his own rules, as you pointed out that JPII did from time-to-time. But I think for the most part both JPII stayed within the 120 of voting cardinals and may have created an extra cardinal or two under 80 with view that one or two may have lost the vote by death and advancing in age. I wonder if it is a good idea to have honorary, non-voting cardinals created. Other than honor and perhaps restoring a good name, I don't see the point.

It was thought that Benedict would make cardinals as need presented itself. So far, that hasn't happened.

When Cardinal McCarrick reached 75 he was quickly replaced. +Rigali turns 75 in April and seems to be in good health and I bet he'll stay on for a few more years. +Mahony turns 75 in 2011 and he'll be retired quickly. In fact, a few key dioceses in California will be changed in 2011. Remember that +Hickey waited 8 years for he red hat. I am not hoping that on any Stateside residential cardinals in the next go around unless +Wuerl gets it.

As guess, I think St Louis and Detroit won't see the cardinal's hat again. I, too, have long thought that Miami would be a possible red hat but I am inclined to think that Atlanta or Denver could see one at some point, though not with +Gregory in the seat.

I wasn't at the Diakonia this year but I did go to the NY Encounter. Kim did pass your greetings. Thank you.


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Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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This page contains a single entry by Paul Zalonski published on January 18, 2010 3:46 PM.

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