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Over the past days the rumours that Pope Benedict XVI would be calling a consistory for the Feast of Christ the King (20 November) were on a significant increase, and today they were proved true. At the end of his general audience of today, which ended only a few minutes ago, the Holy Father read the list of 24 cardinals-designate, who will receive the red hat next month. Some designates are the heads of important archdioceses, others have valuable roles in the Roman curia, and there are also those who receive the title as a recognition of their work. On the whole, these men reflect Pope Benedict’s own values and wishes for the future of the Church. It is not unlikely that among these cardinals-designate is his successor.
Here is the list of the 24, in alphabetical order:
- Archbishop Angelo Amato, S.D.B. (Italian, 72), prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints
- Archbishop Fortunato Baldelli (Italian, 75), head of the Apostolic Penitentiary
- Monsignor Domenico Bartolucci (Italian, 93), Emeritus director of the Sistine Chapel choir
- Monsignor Walter Brandmuller (German, 81), Emeritus president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences
- Archbishop Raymond Burke (American, 62), head of the Apostolic Signatura
- Archbishop Raul Eduardo Vela Chiriboga (Ecuadorean, 76), Emeritus Archbishop of Quito
- Archbishop Raymundo Damasceno Assis (Brazilian, 73), Archbishop of Aparecida
- Archbishop Velasio De Paolis (Italian, 75), president of the Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See
- Archbishop José Manuel Estepa Llaurens (Spanish, 84), Emeritus military ordinary of Spain
- Archbishop Kurt Koch (Swiss, 60), president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
- Archbishop Medardo Joseph Mazombwe (Zambian, 79), Emeritus Archbishop of Lusaka
- Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya (Congolese, 71), Archbishop of Kinshasa
- Archbishop Francesco Monterisi (Italian, 76), archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls
- Patriarch Antonios Naguib (Egypt, 75), patriarch of Alexandria
- Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz (Polish, 60), Archbishop of Warsaw
- Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don (Sri Lankan, 62), Archbishop of Colombo
- Archbishop Reinhard Marx (German, 57), Archbishop of Munich and Freising
- Archbishop Mauro Piacenza (Italian, 66), prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy
- Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi (Italian, 68), president of the Pontifical Council for Culture
- Archbishop Paolo Romeo (Italian, 72), Archbishop of Palermo
- Archbishop Robert Sarah (Guinean, 65), president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”
- Archbishop Paolo Sardi (Italian, 76), pro-patron of the Knights of Malta
- Archbishop Elio Sgreccia (Italian, 82), Emeritus president of the Pontifical Academy for Life
- Archbishop Donald Wuerl (American, 69), Archbishop of Washington
There are some very recent appointments to the curia among these 24, such as Archbishops Koch, Piacenza and Sarah, who have all taken over from their predecessors in the last few months or even weeks. Others are not surprising at all. Archbishops Burke, Ranjith, Monsengwo Pasinya and Amato were all generally expected to become cardinals.
The Italian contingent is relatively large, which is somewhat unusual considering the trend of the past years of non-Italians being appointed heads of councils and congregations. The non-western designates are again few in number. Personally, I had expected that to be different. Especially Asia has a number of major archdioceses which could be headed by a cardinal. Maybe next time.
As for the Low Countries, neither Archbishop Eijk of Utrecht nor Léonard of Brussels is on the list. Undoubtedly various people (bitter bloggers among them) will point out that this is due to them being out of favour with Rome. I expect the explanation is far simpler: both archdioceses still have active electors – Cardinals Simonis and Danneels respectively – and Pope Benedict XVI generally tends not to create new cardinals in a diocese or Church province that already has a cardinal able to participate in a conclave. Cardinal Simonis won’t turn 80 until November of next year, and Danneels won’t until June of 2013.
All the cardinals designate are now theoretically papabile, meaning they could be chosen to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, but not all of them can participate in a conclave. Bartolucci, Brandmuller, Estepa Llaurens and Sgreccia are all over 80, and so they can’t vote. They could conceivably still be elected by their brother cardinals, but the chances of that are slim indeed.
• Archbishop Paolo Romeo, Palermo, Italy
• Archbishop Giuseppe Bettori, Florence, Italy
• Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard, Brussels, Belgium
• Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Westminster, Great Britain
• Archbishop Timothy Dolan, New York
• Archbishop Donald Wuerl, Washington, D.C.
• Archbishop Orani João Tempesta, Rio de Janiero, Brazil
• Archbishop Braulio Rodríguez Plaza, Toledo, Spain
• Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra, Valencia, Spain
• Archbishop Juan José Asenjo Pelegrina, Seville, Spain
• Archbishop Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij, Bangkok, Thailand
• Archbishop Joseph Ngô Quang Kiêt, Ha Noi, Vietnam
• Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
• Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz, Warsaw, Poland
• Archbishop Willem Jacobus Eijk, Utrecht, The Netherlands
• Archbishop Reinhard Marx, Munich and Freising, Germany
There’s also a slew of Vatican officials in a holding pattern to join the College of Cardinals, including:
• Archbishop Angelo Amato, Congregation for the Causes of Saints
• Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See
• Archbishop Raymond Burke, Apostolic Signatura
• Archbishop Fortunato Baldelli, Apostolic Penitentiary
• Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, Pontifical Council for Culture
• Archbishop Antonio Maria Vegliò, Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant Peoples
• Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers
• Archbishop Francesco Monterisi, Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls
There is not much overlap with the list I created here, although that can be said to be due to the fact that I took the next two years in consideration, while Allen focusses solely on this year. Still, Archbishop Eijk is among them, as is the new archbishop of Brussels, Msgr. Léonard, and he mentions the possibility of new cardinals in African sees, like I did when I pondered the possibility of a new cardinal from Cameroon.
Allen’s list is a very western affair, with many cardinals from Europe or North America. Traditionally, Europe is the place where important members of the curia come from, of course, so perhaps the lack of African and Asian prelates is due to the fact that the current cardinals from there are still so relatively new (elevated by Pope John Paul II) that they’re not too close to retirement yet.
I have some reservations about Allen’s list, though. Both archbishops Eijk and Léonard are new enough that they could be kept waiting a while (Léonard is not even installed as archbishop yet), and the same may be said for Archbishops Nichols, Dolan, Marx and Burke. However, we will undoubtedly see in due time, quite possibly somewhere before the end of the year.