Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Magister: More Cardinals to be appointed in early 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI

Cardinal Raymond Burke being elevated at the
November 2010 consistory (Photo by Teak Phillips)

Veteran Vatican journalist, Sandro Magister says a consistory will be held on February 19, 2012 in which more Cardinals will be elevated by Pope Benedict XVI (possibly named as early as January 18th). As Magister points out, this means Cardinal-Electors named by Pope Benedict XVI will be in the majority.

The number of Cardinal-Electors is set at 120. A Cardinal may vote until he reaches the age of 80.   You can see in this Cardinal-Elector list at Catholic-Hierarchy who is about to turn 80 (hint: click on the birth date header to organize by age if it is jumbled)

 The Vatican journalist explains the current situation:

There are currently 192 cardinals. Those under the age of eighty amount to 109, dropping to 107 on February 19 (in addition to Zen, in fact, the Portuguese José Saraiva Martins will turn 80 on January 6. This means that at the next consistory, there will be at least 13 new cardinals, but more likely 15 or more, considering that in the following months of 2012 another 11 cardinals will turn eighty.

Sandro Magister explains likely candidates and you can bet that speculation will turn into a whirlwind leading up to the notification expected in mid-January. 

Magister believes Archbishop Dolan of New York will make this cut even though Cardinal Egan is not yet 80.  He turns 80 in late spring, not long after the consistory. 

What about Detroit?

Archbishop Vigneron
elevates the Host at
Assumption Grotto on
August 15, 2009
There is no mention in his column about the Archdiocese of Detroit.  Some have speculated in the past that Detroit's red hat will be lost due to the decline in number of Catholics.   There can only be so many Cardinals in the US (though there is nothing written in stone).   Other cities, like Houston, have seen increasing numbers and it became a cardinalatial see in 2004 with the elevation of Cardinal DiNardo.

While Archbishop Vigneron may not make this cut, even though Cardinal Maida is now over 80, I'm not convinced that Detroit has lost it's red hat.  Detroit is ranked 7th in Diocese of the United States based on 2004 statistics (which is all I can find at the moment).  Then, 33.4% of the 1.48 million people in it's boundaries were Catholics.  The diocesan page shows a figure for 2006 of 32.5% for 1.47 million.   Without later data from Detroit, and the other "red-hat" sees, it is hard to get a good picture of where Detroit truly stands.  If anyone knows of data which shows a later ranking of these sees, including Detroit, please drop some links or info into my combox.

The Catholic Hierarchy website is a very interesting place to sift through data.  Along with the list of Cardinal Electors shown above, you can find a listing of all past consistories

Here again, is  a link to Sandro Magister's article: Vatican Diary / The next cardinals, name by name

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