On red hat day, a small but historic change in the college

cardinalsToday marks not only Pope Francis’ fifth red hat day, with the ceremonies to begin at 4 pm Roman time, but also an historical change in the composition of the College of Cardinals, albeit one with, on first glance, little effect on the day to day affairs of the Church.

The College of Cardinals is divided into three ranks: the cardinal-deacons, cardinal-priests and cardinal-bishops. Of these, the cardinal-bishops are of the highest rank and also the smallest of the three groups. Traditionally, the cardinal-bishops were the bishops of the seven* suburbicarian sees, the ancient dioceses surrounding Rome. Before 1962, these cardinals were the actual bishops of the suburbicarian sees, but in that year the position became titular and the dioceses received bishops who had the time to actual manage them.

The cardinal-bishops remained the highest order of cardinals, however, and from their ranks the dean and vice-dean of the entire College were chosen. In times of a sede vacante this becomes most visible, as the dean has the duty of calling the other cardinals to Rome and organising the conclave to elect a new pope. Today, the Dean of the College of Cardinals is the cardinal-bishop of Albano and Ostia, Cardinal Angelo Sodano**.

Le-cardinal-Bechara-Boutros-Rai-aimerait-organiser-avec-autres-responsables-chretiens-sommet-toutes-eglises-Orient_0_1400_1345
Maronite Patriarch Béchara Boutros Raï, an eastern cardinal-bishop

In 1965, the order of cardinal-bishops was expanded by the addition of those patriarchs of eastern Churches in union with Rome who were made cardinals. There are three of these today: the Coptic patriarch and the current and previous Maronite patriarchs. After today’s consistory, they will be joined by the Chaldean patriarch. These eastern cardinal-bishops, while equal in rank to the others, receive no suburbicarian see and do not participate in the election of dean and vice-dean (they are also unable to be elected themselves)***.

Over the centuries, but especially in the last decades, the College of Cardinals has continuously grown in size. For example, about a century ago, the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XV consisted of 57 cardinals (a further 8 were unable to take part), while following today’s consistory, there will be 125 electors. This growth took part solely in the ranks of the cardinal-deacons and the cardinal-priests. The cardinal-bishops steadfastly remained limited to the holders of the suburbicarian sees. To remedy that, Pope Francis decided to select four cardinals to be elevated to the rank of cardinal-bishops. They keep their current title churches and duties, but it may be assumed that they are now first in line to be moved to a suburbicarian see when one falls vacant. The four new cardinal-bishops are full members of the highest section of the hierarchy in all respects, and can vote for and be elected as dean or vice-dean. Canons 350 and 352 of the Code of Canon Law limit this to the holders of the suburbicarian sees, but that limitation has been waived for the new cardinal-bishops.

For this honour, which is simultaneously an obligation, Pope Francis has selected four cardinals from three different countries, who all work in the Curia in Rome.

  1. parolinPietro Cardinal Parolin, Secretary of State, 63. Perhaps the most important rising star in Francis’ papacy. A trained diplomat, the erstwhile Nuncio to Venezuela was called to Rome in 2013 to succeed Cardinal Bertone as Secretary of State. In 2014 he was made a cardinal with the title of Santi Simone e Giuda Taddeo a Torre Angela, and was added to the Council of Cardinals, the C9, that assists the pope in reforming the Curia, about a year after that group was established.
  2. LeonardoSandriLeonardo Cardinal Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, 74. Argentinean like the pope, Cardinal Sandri is also a diplomat, having served as Nuncio to Venezuela and Mexico before joining the Secretariat of State as Substitute for General Affairs in 2000. He became Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in 2007 and was made a cardinal in that same year. Last month, he was one of the cardinal-deacons who were promoted to cardinal-priests. He maintained is title of Santi Biagio e Carlo ai Catinari, as he does with his elevation to cardinal-bishop.
  3. Marc OuelletMarc Cardinal Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, 74. Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in 2001 and 2002, the Canadian prelate returned home as archbishop of Québec, and was made a cardinal in 2003, with Santa Maria in Traspontina as his title church. Since 2010 he serves as prefect of the congregation which controls the appointing of bishops around the world.
  4. cardinalefiloni-kBED-U1101609431438Nc-1024x576@LaStampa.it-R65On4HldM4ptvJ2jZdZVeM-568x320@LaStampa.itFernando Cardinal Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, 72. Like two of his three classmates a diplomat, having served as Nuncio in Jordan, Iraq and the Philippines. Like Cardinal Sandri, he also served as Substitute for General Affairs in the Secretariat of State, from 2007 to 2011. In that latter year he became Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, and was made a cardinal in 2012. He holds the title of Nostra Signora do Coromoto in San Giovanni di Dio.

In paractice these changes mean that Cardinals Parolin, Sandri, Ouellet and Filoni are among the most significant collaborators of the pope, and when the time for a conclave comes, it will be Cardinal Parolin who will oversee the proceedings: he will take on those duties that Cardinal Sodano is unable to because of his age.

With these elevations and the creation of fourteen new cardinals today, the makeup of the entire College of Cardinals is listed below. In bold are those cardinals under the age of 80, who can vote in a conclave. Their duties and offices are summarised here. In many cases, especially for cardinals working in the curia, they have or had several functions. I have chosen to list only their most prominent or best-known roles.

Cardinal-Bishops

  1. Angelo Cardinal Sodano: Dean of the College of Cardinals, Secretary of State emeritus
  2. Giovanni Battista Cardinal Re: Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals, Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Bishops
  3. Roger Cardinal Etchegaray: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
  4. Francis Cardinal Arinze: Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
  5. Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone: Secretary of State emeritus
  6. José Cardinal Saraiva Martins: Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
  7. Pietro Cardinal Parolin: Secretary of State
  8. Leonardo Cardinal Sandri: Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches
  9. Marc Cardinal Ouellet: Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops
  10. Fernando Cardinal Filoni: Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples
  11. Nasrallah Pierre Cardinal Sfeir: Patriarch emeritus of Antioch (Maronite Rite)
  12. Antonios Cardinal Naguib: Patriarch emeritus of Alexandria (Coptic Rite)
  13. Béchara Pierre Cardinal Raï: Patriarch of Antioch (Maronite Rite)
  14. Louis Raphaël I Cardinal Sako: Patriarch of Babylon (Chaldean Rite)

Cardinal-Priests

  1. Michael Michai Cardinal Kitbunchu: Archbishop emeritus of Bangkok
  2. Alexandre Cardinal do Nascimento: Archbishop emeritus of Luanda
  3. Godfried Cardinal Danneels: Archbishop emeritus of Mechelen-Brussel
  4. Thomas Stafford Cardinal Williams: Archbishop emeritus of Wellington
  5. Henryk Roman Cardinal Gulbinowicz: Archbishop emeritus of Wroclaw
  6. Jozef Cardinal Tomko: Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples
  7. Paul Cardinal Poupard: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture, President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
  8. Friedrich Cardinal Wetter: Archbishop emeritus of München und Freising
  9. Adrianus Johannes Cardinal Simonis: Archbishop emeritus of Utrecht
  10. Eduardo Cardinal Martínez Somalo: Prefect emeritus of the Consecration for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
  11. Achille Cardinal Silvestrini: Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches
  12. José Freire Cardinal Falcão: Archbishop emeritus of Brasília
  13. Alexandre José María Cardinal dos Santos: Archbishop emeritus of Maputo
  14. Christian Wiyghan Cardinal Tumi: Archbishop emeritus of Douala
  15. Edward Idris Cardinal Cassidy: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
  16. Nicolás de Jesús Cardinal López Rodríguez: Archbishop emeritus of Santo Domingo
  17. Roger Michael Cardinal Mahony: Archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles
  18. Camillo Cardinal Ruini: Vicar General emeritus for the Vicariate of Rome, Archpriest emeritus of S. John Lateran
  19. Henri Cardinal Schwery: Bishop emeritus of Sion
  20. Jaime Lucas Cardinal Ortega y Alamino: Archbishop emeritus of Havana
  21. Julius Riyadi Cardinal Darmaatmadja: Archbishop emeritus of Jakarta
  22. Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala: Archbishop emeritus of Kampala
  23. Adam Joseph Cardinal Maida: Archbishop emeritus of Detroit
  24. Vinko Cardinal Puljic: Archbihsop of Vrhbosna
  25. Juan Cardinal Sandoval Íñiguez: Archbihsop emeritus of Guadalajara
  26. Jorge Arturo Cardinal Medina Estévez: Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
  27. James Francis Cardinal Stafford: Archbishop emeritus of Denver
  28. Salvatore Cardinal De Giorgi: Archbishop emeritus of Palermo
  29. Serafim Fernandes Cardinal de Araújo: Archbishop emeritus of Belo Horizonte
  30. Antonio María Cardinal Rouco Varela: Archbishop emeritus of Madrid
  31. Polycarp Cardinal Pengo: Archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam
  32. Christoph Cardinal Schönborn: Archbishop of Vienna
  33. Norberto Cardinal Rivera Carrera: Archbishop emeritus of Mexico
  34. Marian Cardinal Jaworski: Archbishop emeritus of Lviv
  35. Janis Cardinal Pujats: Archbishop emeritus of Riga
  36. Agostino Cardinal Cacciavillan: President emeritus of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See
  37. Sergio Cardinal Sebastiani: President emeritus of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See
  38. Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski: Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education
  39. Crescenzio Cardinal Sepe: Archbishop of Naples
  40. Walter Cardinal Kasper: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
  41. Geraldo Majella Cardinal Agnelo: Archbishop emeritus of São Salvador de Bahia
  42. Pedro Cardinal Rubiano Sáenz: Archbishop emeritus of Bogotá
  43. Theodore Edgar Cardinal McCarrick: Archbishop emeritus of Washington
  44. Audrys Juozas Cardinal Backis: Archbishop emeritus of Vilnius
  45. Francisco Javier Cardinal Errázuriz Ossa: Archbishop emeritus of Santiago de Chile
  46. Wilfrid Fox Cardinal Napier: Archbishop of Durban
  47. Óscar Andrés Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga: Archbishop of Tegucigalpa and Coordinator of the Council of Cardinals
  48. Juan Luis Cardinal Cipriani Thorne: Archbishop of Lima
  49. Francisco Cardinal Álvarez Martínez: Archbishop emeritus of Toledo
  50. Cláudio Cardinal Hummes: Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Clergy
  51. Severino Cardinal Poletto: Archbishop emeritus of Torino
  52. Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran: President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church
  53. Julián Cardinal Herranz Casado: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts
  54. Javier Cardinal Lozano Barragán: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers
  55. Angelo Cardinal Scola: Archbishop emeritus of Milan
  56. Anthony Olubunmi Cardinal Okogie: Archbishop emeritus of Lagos
  57. Gabriel Cardinal Zubier Wako: Archbishop emeritus of Khartoum
  58. Carlos Cardinal Amigo Vallejo: Archbihsop emeritus of Sevilla
  59. Justin Francis Cardinal Rigali: Archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia
  60. Eusébio Oscar Cardinal Scheid: Archbishop emeritus of Rio de Janeiro
  61. Ennio Cardinal Antonelli: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Family
  62. Peter Kodwo Appiah Cardinal Turkson: Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
  63. Telesphore Placidus Cardinal Toppo: Archbishop emeritus of Ranchi
  64. George Cardinal Pell: Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy
  65. Josip Cardinal Bozanic: Archbishop of Zagreb
  66. Jean-Baptise Cardinal Pham Minh Man: Archbishop emeritus of Ho Chi Minh City
  67. Philipp Christian Igance Marie Cardinal Barbarin: Archbishop of Lyon
  68. Péter Cardinal Erdö: Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest
  69. William Joseph Cardinal Levada: Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
  70. Franc Cardinal Rode: Prefect emeritus of the Consecration for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
  71. Agostino Cardinal Vallini: Pontifical Legate for the Basilicas of St. Francis and St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi
  72. Jorge Liberato Cardinal Urosa Savino: Archbishop of Caracas
  73. Gaudencio Borbon Cardinal Rosales: Archbishop emeritus of Manila
  74. Jean-Pierre Bernard Cardinal Ricard: Archbishop of Bordeaux
  75. Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera: Archbishop of Valencia
  76. Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Jin-suk: Archbishop emeritus of Seoul
  77. Seán Patrick Cardinal O’Malley: Archbishop of Boston
  78. Stanislaw Cardinal DziwiszArchbishop emeritus of Kraków
  79. Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun: Bishop emeritus of Hong Kong
  80. Albert Cardinal Vanhoye: Secretary emeritus of the Pontifical Biblical Commission
  81. Giovanni Cardinal Lajolo: President emeritus of the Governorate of the Vatican City State and President emeritus of the Pontifical Commission for the Vatican City State
  82. Paul Josef Cardinal Cordes: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”
  83. Angelo Cardinal Comastri: Archpriest of St. Peter and Vicar General for the Vatican City State
  84. Stanislaw Cardinal Rylko: Archpries of St. Mary Major
  85. Raffaele Cardinal Farina: Librarian emeritus of the Vatican Apostolic Library and Archivist emeritus of the Vatican Secret Archives
  86. Seán Baptist Cardinal Brady: Archbishop emeritus of Armagh
  87. Lluís Cardinal Martinez Sistach: Archbishop emeritus of Barcelona
  88. André Armand Cardinal Vingt-Trois: Archbishop emeritus of Paris
  89. Angelo Cardinal Bagnasco: Archbishop of Genova
  90. Théodore-Adrien Cardinal Sarr: Archbishop emeritus of Dakar
  91. Oswald Cardinal Gracias: Archbishop of Bombay
  92. Francisco Cardinal Robles Ortega: Archbishop of Guadalajara
  93. Daniel Nicholas Cardinal DiNardo: Archbishop of Galveston-Houston
  94. Odilo Pedro Cardinal Scherer: Archbishop of São Paulo
  95. John Cardinal Njue: Archbishop of Nairobi
  96. Estanislao Esteban Cardinal Karlic: Archbishop emeritus of Paraná
  97. Raúl Eduardo Cardinal Vela Chiriboga: Archbishop emeritus of Quito
  98. Laurent Cardinal Monsengwo Pasinya: Archbishop of Kinshasa
  99. Paolo Cardinal Romeo: Archbishop emeritus of Palermo
  100. Donald William Cardinal Wuerl: Archbishop of Washington
  101. Raymundo Damasceno Cardinal Assis: Archbishop emeritus of Aparecida
  102. Kazimierz Cardinal Nycz: Archbishop of Warszawa
  103. Albert Malcolm Ranjith Cardinal Patabendige Don: Archbishop of Colombo
  104. Reinhard Cardinal Marx: Archbishop of München und Freising
  105. José Manuel Cardinal Estepa Llaurens: Military Ordinary emeritus of Spain
  106. George Cardinal Alencherry: Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly (Syro-Malabar Rite)
  107. Thomas Christopher Cardinal Collins: Archbishop of Toronto
  108. Dominik Cardinal Duka: Archbishop of Prague
  109. Willem Jacobus Cardinal Eijk: Archbishop of Utrecht
  110. Giuseppe Cardinal Betori: Archbishop of Firenze
  111. Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan: Archbishop of New York
  112. Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki: Archbishop of Köln
  113. John Cardinal Tong Hon: Bishop emeritus of Hong Kong
  114. Lucian Cardinal Muresan: Major Archbishop of Fagaras si Alba Iulia (Romanian Rite)
  115. Baselios Cleemis Cardinal Thottunkal: Major Archbishop of Trivandrum (Syro-Malankar Rite)
  116. John Olorunfemi Cardinal Onaiyekan: Archbishop of Abuja
  117. Jesús Rubén Cardinal Salazar Gómez: Archbishop of Bogotá
  118. Luis Antonio Gokim Cardinal Tagle: Archbishop of Manila
  119. Vincent Gerard Cardinal Nichols: Archbishop of Westminster
  120. Leopoldo José Cardinal Brenes Solórzano: Archbishop of Managua
  121. Gérald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix: Archbishop of Québec
  122. Jean-Pierre Cardinal Kutwa: Archbishop of Abidjan
  123. Orani João Cardinal Tempesta: Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro
  124. Gualtiero Cardinal Bassetti: Archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve
  125. Mario Aurelio Cardinal Poli: Archbishop of Buenos Aires
  126. Andrew Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung: Archbishop of Seoul
  127. Ricardo Cardinal Ezzati Andrello: Archbishop of Santiago de Chile
  128. Philippe Nakellentuba Cardinal Ouédraogo: Archbishop of Ouagadougou
  129. Orlando Beltran Cardinal Quevedo: Archbishop of Cotabato
  130. Chibly Cardinal Langlois: Bishop of Les Cayes
  131. Fernando Cardinal Sebastián Aguilar: Archbishop emeritus of Pamplona y Tudela
  132. Kelvin Edward Cardinal Felix: Archbishop emeritus of Castries
  133. Manuel José Cardinal Macário do Nascimento Clemente: Patriarch of Lissabon
  134. Berhaneyesus Demerew Cardinal Souraphiel: Metropolitan of Addis Abeba (Ethiopic Rite)
  135. John Atcherley Cardinal Dew: Archbishop of Wellington
  136. Edoardo Cardinal Menichelli: Archbishop emeritus of Ancona-Osimo
  137. Pierre Cardinal Nguyen Van Nhon: Archbishop of Hanoi
  138. Alberto Cardinal Suárez Inda: Archbishop emeritus of Morelia
  139. Charles Maung Cardinal Bo: Archbishop of Yangon
  140. Francis Xavier Kriengsak Cardinal Kovithavanij: Archbishop of Bangkok
  141. Francesco Cardinal Montenegro: Archbishop of Agrigento
  142. Daniel Fernando Cardinal Sturla Berhouet: Archbishop of Montevideo
  143. Ricardo Cardinal Blázquez Pérez: Archbishop of Valladolid
  144. José Luis Cardinal Lacunza Maestrojuán: Bishop of David
  145. Arlindo Cardinal Gomes Furtado: Bishop of Santiago de Cabo Verde
  146. Soane Patita Cardinal Mafi: Bishop of Tonga
  147. José de Jesús Cardinal Pimiento Rodriguez: Archbishop emeritus of Manizales
  148. Luis Héctor Cardinal Villalba: Archbishop emeritus of Tucumán
  149. Júlio Duarte Cardinal Langa: Bishop emeritus of Xai-Xai
  150. Dieudonné Cardinal Nzapalainga: Archbishop of Bangui
  151. Carlos Cardinal Osoro Sierra: Archbishop of Madrid
  152. Sérgio Cardinal da Rocha: Archbishop of Brasília
  153. Blase Joseph Cardinal Cupich: Archbishop of Chicago
  154. Patrick Cardinal D’Rozario: Archbishop of Dhaka
  155. Baltazar Enrique Cardinal Porras Cardozo: Archbishop of Mérida
  156. Jozef Cardinal De Kesel: Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussel
  157. Maurice Cardinal Piat: Bishop of Port-Louis
  158. Carlos Cardinal Aguiar Retes: Archbishop of Mexico
  159. John Cardinal Ribat: Archbishop of Port Moresby
  160. Joseph William Cardinal Tobin: Archbishop of Newark
  161. Anthony Soter Cardinal Fernandez: Archbishop emeritus of Kuala Lumpur
  162. Renato Cardinal Corti: Bishop emeritus of Novara
  163. Sebastian Koto Cardinal Khoarai: Bishop emeritus of Mohale’s Hoek
  164. Jean Cardinal Zerbo: Archbishop of Bamako
  165. Juan José Cardinal Omella Omella: Archbishop of Barcelona
  166. Anders Cardinal Arborelius: Bishop of Stockholm
  167. Lousi-Marie Cardinal Ling Mangkhanekhoun: Vicar Apostolic of Vientiane
  168. Gregorio Cardinal Rosa Chávez: Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador
  169. Joseph Cardinal Coutts: Archbishop of Karachi
  170. António Augusto Cardinal dos Santos Marto: Bishop of Leiria-Fátima
  171. Pedro Ricardo Cardinal Barreto Jimeno: Archbishop of Huancayo
  172. Désiré Cardinal Tsarahazana: Archbishop of Toamasina
  173. Giuseppe Cardinal Petrocchi: Archbishop of L’Aquila
  174. Thomas Aquino Manyo Cardinal Maeda: Archbishop of Osaka
  175. Sergio Cardinal Obeso Rivera: Archbishop emeritus of Jalapa
  176. Toribio Cardinal Ticona Porco: Prelate emeritus of Corocoro

Cardinal-Deacons

  1. Renato Cardinal Martino: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People
  2. Angelo Cardinal Amato: Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
  3. Robert Cardinal Sarah: Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
  4. Francesco Cardinal Monterisi: Archpriest emeritus of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls
  5. Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke: Patron of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta
  6. Kurt Cardinal Koch: President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
  7. Paolo Cardinal Sardi: Patron emeritus of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta
  8. Mauro Cardinal Piacenza: Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary
  9. Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi: President of the Pontifical Council for Culture
  10. Elio Cardinal Sgreccia: President emeritus of the Pontifical Academy for Life
  11. Walter Cardinal Brandmüller: President emeritus of the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences
  12. Manuel Cardinal Monteiro de Castro: Major Penitentiary emeritus of the Apostolic Penitentiary
  13. Santos Cardinal Abril y Castelló: Archpriest emeritus of St. Mary Major
  14. Antonio Maria Cardinal Vegliò: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People
  15. Giuseppe Cardinal Bertello: President of the Governorate of the Vatican City State and President of the Pontifical Commission for the Vatican City State
  16. Francesco Cardinal Coccopalmerio: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts
  17. João Cardinal Bráz de Aviz: Prefect of the Consecration for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
  18. Edwin Frederick Cardinal O’Brien: Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepuclhre of Jerusalem
  19. Domenico Cardinal Calcagno: President emeritus of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See
  20. Giuseppe Cardinal Versaldi: Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education
  21. Prosper Cardinal Grech: Priest of the Archdiocese of Malta
  22. James Michael Cardinal Harvey: Archpriest of St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls
  23. Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri: Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops
  24. Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller: Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
  25. Beniamino Cardinal Stella: Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy
  26. Dominique Francois Joseph Cardinal Mamberti: Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
  27. Luigi Cardinal De Magistris: Major Pro-Penitentiary emeritus
  28. Karl-Josef Cardinal Rauber: Apostolic Nuncio emeritus to Belgium and Luxembourg
  29. Mario Cardinal Zenari: Apostolic Nuncio to Syria
  30. Kevin Joseph Cardinal Farrell: Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life
  31. Ernest Cardinal Simoni: Priest of the Diocese of Shkodrë-Pult
  32. Luis Francisco Cardinal Ladaria Ferrer: Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
  33. Angelo Cardinal De Donatis: Archpriest of St. John Lateran and Vicar General for the Vicariate of Rome
  34. Giovanni Angelo Cardinal Becciu: Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
  35. Konrad Cardinal Krajewski: Almoner of His Holiness
  36. Aquilino Cardinal Bocos Merino: Superior General emeritus of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

*Over time, there have been some mergers and splits among these seven sees, but today they are: Albano, Frascati, Ostia, Palestrina, Porto-Santa Rufina, Sabina-Poggio Mirteto and Velletri-Segni.

*The title of Ostia is given to the Dean in addition to his own titular diocese. It has no bishop of its own and it is governed by the vicar-general for the Vicariate of Rome, currently Archbishop Angelo De Donatis, who himself will be made a cardinal today.

***This may be one of the reasons for today’s changes. If a conclave were to be held now, its proceedings would be overseen by Maronite Patriarch Béchara Cardinal Raï, himself not a Roman prelate. This would be so because the dean, at 90, is too old to participate in a conclave and his duties would then automatically fall to the senior cardinal-bishop who is also an elector. Cardinal Raï is the sole elector among the cardinal-bishops today.

Photo credit: [2] Alessia GIULIANI/CPP/CIRIC, [4] CNS/Paul Haring, [5] AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

 

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Newspaper dubia? Proper papal interview raises questions

exclusive-stop-exploiting-africa-share-resources-pope-tells-europe-2018-6Pope Francis has again given an interview on the current affairs in his pontificate. It is good to see he chose a proper journalist this time: Reuters’ Philip Pullella. The interview is available here, and will be added to over the course of today, as the final line says. The Holy Father covers various issues, the most noteworthy of which is his support for the American bishops’ condemnation of the zero-tolerance policies of the Trump administration towards immigrants. The pope also discusses Vatican relations with China, the abuse crisis in Chile, the curia reforms and speculations about a possible early retirement (“Right now, I am not even thinking about it”, he said).

Among the topics addressed is the criticism against him from within the Church. The pope make a rather puzzling comment about the questions from Cardinal Burke and Brandmüller, together with the late Cardinals Caffarra and Meisner, the so-called dubia, which they formulated in 2016. Pope Francis claims he learned about these from the newspaper and calls it “a way of doing things that is, let’s say, not ecclesial”. These comments do not agree with what the four cardinals said and did.

The letter detailing the dubia is dated to 19 September 2016, and it wasn’t made public until November of that year. The publication was made because of a lack of an official response to what was initially a private correspondence, as dubia are supposed to be. This means that Pope Francis should have learned about them from that letter, and not from some newspaper. It is hard to figure out what this means. Maybe someone in the Vatican’s higher circles prevented the pope from seeing the dubia? Perhaps Pope Francis honestly failed to recall the exact details (something which is perhaps understandable considering the fact that he undoubtedly does learn much of the criticism against him from the newspaper)?

Agree or disagree with Cardinal Raymond Burke, one thing is certain: he is a by-the-book prelate with a profound knowledge of the rules and regulations regarding the dubia. And so are or were the other three cardinals involved. There is no conceivable way that they did things differently from what they claim.

UPDATE 22-6:

The two surviving dubia cardinals have also spoken up about the apparent papal slip-up over the past two days. Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, asked about the issue by OnePeterFive, commented: “The Dubia were first published after – I think it was two months – after the Pope  did not even confirm their reception. It is very clear that we wrote directly to the Pope and at the same time to the Congregation for the Faith. What should be left that is unclear here?”

Cardinal Raymond Burke offers some more details about how the cardinals went about presenting their dubia to the Pope: “The late Cardinal Carlo Caffarra personally delivered the letter containing the dubia to the Papal Residence, and at the same time to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on September 19, 2016,” and “During the entire time since the presentation of the dubia, there has never been a question about the fact that they were presented to the Holy Father, according to the practice of the Church and with full respect for his office.”

Cardinal Burke, however, also allows for the pope having misunderstood the question. This is confirmed by Edward Pentin here, and adds that Philip Pullella informed the National Catholic Register that while Pope Francis was indeed responding to a question about the dubia, and not some other initiative, more details from the interview will be published soon.

Photo credit: Thomson Reuters

A bishop at 80

As canon law dictates that a bishop is to offer his resignation when he reaches the age of 75, new bishops rarely get consecrated beyond the age of, say, 65. A look at the past month, just to get a sampling, shows that this is generally true: the youngest four of the most recently consecrated bishops were 51, while the oldest was 69. All the others fall in between those ages.

aquilinoToday, however, will see the consecration of an 80-year-old bishop. But he is not set to lead a diocese or take on some important office in the curia or a diplomatic post somewhere. No, Archbishop Aquilino Bocos Merino is being made a bishop so that he can receive the cardinal’s red hat in 12 days’ time.

Canon 351 § 1 describes who can be chosen to be made cardinals, adding that “those who are not yet bishops must receive episcopal consecration.” Cardinal-elect Bocos Merino is a priest of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, generally known as the Claretians, and served as that order’s superior general from 1991 to 2003. That office, however, does not entail that the holder being made a bishop. But a cardinal must be one. Hence today’s consecration of an 80-year-old.

The consecration of Archbishop Bocos Merino will take place in Madrid, Spain, with Fernando Cardinal Sebastián Aguilar, archbishop emeritus of Pamplona y Tudela, as principal consecrator, and Carlos Cardinal Osoro Sierra, archbishop of Madrid, and Ricardo Cardinal Blázquez Pérez, archbishop of Valladolid, as co-consecrators. All three cardinals were also created by Pope Francis.

Archbishop Bocos Merino has been appointed the titular archbishop of Urusi (because a bishop has to be a bishop of a place), a title he will hold for a mere twelve days. In the consistory of 28 June he will be given a deaconry title to go with his cardinal’s red hat. There are currently twelve of these vacant, but Pope Francis may decide to elevate another Roman church to the dignity of cardinal deaconry. He has done so before.

But, despite all of the above, a newly chosen cardinal who is not yet a bishop can simply ask the pope to dispense him from the obligation of being made a bishop first. Such a request is usually granted. Most recently, Cardinal Ernest Simoni, created in the consistory of 19 November 2016, did so.

 

Hidden dangers – Bishops of Belgium on decriminalising abortion

logo bc_0As Belgian politics are once more on the verge of discussing the topic of abortion and whether or not it should be decriminalised, the bishops of Belgium warn against the risks of doing so. Their concerns are not unrealistic, as recent developments in other countries have shown. The slippery slope of further liberalisation, actively sought out or not, is real, When abortion comes to be seen as a right, the room to disagree, to conscientiously object, starts to disappear. The bishops write that there are only ever losers in these cases, especially when abortion is considered as a normal procedure.

“In our country, abortion has been legalised under certain circumstances for quite some time now. Several proposal have now been presented to the Belgian parliament to completely depenalise abortion. Current practice will perhaps not change much because of it, but it is nonetheless a serious decision with a strong symbolic meaning. The opinions on the termination of pregnancy will fundamentally change. And the consequences are significant. Hence, we ask ourselves questions. These are questions which transcend ideological boundaries.

In a democracy the criminal code guarantees the protection of human dignity and the physical integrity of every person. Can this protection be disregarded when it is about human life developing before birth? The life that many people desire, which many protect and fight for, for which medicine makes the greatest progress, that precious life. Why should that life in its earliest beginnings not be protected as if it isn’t life yet?

Abortion will never become commonplace. Not even when it is removed from the criminal code. It will never become a normal ‘operation’. It will never happen gladly. There are only ever losers. Certainly, circumstances can make people desperate and hopeless. Exactly then man is so distraught en lonely. If the law would then only suggest that it is a normal operation, no justice is done to what those involved experience and go through. Why then look for advice or assistance? The requests themselves run the risk of not being taken seriously from the start. It will only increase the desperation and loneliness.

That is the danger we wish to point out: when abortion is removed from the criminal code, there is the risk that it becomes a normal medical intervention like any other. It is no longer an infraction in those cases provided for by the law. It becomes a right. Those questioning it or refusing abortion, will then have to justify themselves. And that is true for both the doctor and the woman involved. Even when the clause of freedom of conscience is maintained, it will be able to be invoked increasingly less. A medical intervention requires a medical decision, after all, and not so much a decision of conscience.

Our society increasingly struggles with everything that blocks our plans, with everything that disrupts our way of life. That goes for people who are old or sick, for people with physical disabilities, for the poor, strangers or refugees coming to us. It is also true for unborn life. In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis says that this is all connected: “If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away” (n. 120).”

Cardinal Jozef De Kesel and the bishops of Belgium

By acknowledging that abortion is never considered gladly, never becomes normal, and that those seeking it out are often desperate, seeing no other option, the bishops show the way in how to deal with such situations. Not by presenting abortion as just another medical operation, but by acknowledging the pain and loneliness felt by the people involved, and by finding new ways of alleviating that. Not by killing an innocent person, but by standing with the parent or parents (because too often the mother stands alone in these situations).

 

Pastoral exceptions and rules – support from abroad for the Woelki position

The group of German bishops, unofficially headed by Cologne’s Cardinal Woelki, who have questioned the bishops’ conference’s proposed pastoral outreach that would allow non-Catholics to receive Communion under certain circumstances – and whose position was recently confirmed and supported by the Holy See – have received further support from abroad.

In a recent interview on the occasion of the Ad Limina visit of the Nordic bishops – which I wrote about in the previous blog post – Cardinal Anders Arborelius, himself a former Lutheran and now, as a cardinal, a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, was asked about the discussion in Germany. He answered:

kardinalen_2_thumb“It surprises me that the topic hasn’t been discussed that much. In Sweden, we have many mixed marriages. But most Catholics aren’t married to practicing Protestants. It is not an issue for us. Of course there are evangelical Christians who would like to receive Communion, but most are non-religious.

Of course, the ideal would be that the entire Church is able to arrive at a common solution, but it is difficult: in one country, the situation is thus, in the other it is different. Hopefully, we will one day be able to find a common solution with the entire Church.”

This is exactly what Cardinal Woelki has also said: it is not up to the German bishops alone to decide upon matters that are so essential to the Catholic faith and the understanding of the sacraments. Rather, the entire Church as a whole must decide upon it, if only to avoid the situation in which a regulation is valid in one place and not in another: the Church is not a national Church, but universal, and her sacraments and faith are not bound by borders.

Μητροπολίτης-Γερμανίας-κ.κ.Αυγουστίνος-300x169Greek-Orthodox Metropolitan Augoustinos, who hosted Cardinal Woelki in Bonn for the annual plenary meeting of the Greek-Orthodox Church in Germany, expressed himself in similar words after indicating that his church is also following the debate closely. He referred to the Orthodox principle of Oikonomia, which indicates that a regulation can be ignored or a rule broken when it serves the salvation of the person involved. But he then quoted Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, saying: “As soon as one defines the conditions under which Oikonomia can be applied, Oikonomia itself becomes a rule or regulation.”

Cardinal Woelki has spoken about the unwritten rule that a non-Catholic presenting himself for Communion is not turned away: a pastoral exception to the rule which, however, must not be made into a rule itself. That would “endanger the values that must be preserved with special care”. These values would include the Catholic (and, for that matter, Orthodox) doctrine about the Eucharist and Communion.

 

In an interview for Katholisch.de, Bishop Stefan Oster of Passau also spoke about this point in the debate. He was also one of the seven signatories of the letter to Rome which questioned if the pastoral outreach did not transcend the authority of the German bishops. The bishop explains:

7I2A1125_0“It is right that we do not turn anyone away from the Communion bench. At that moment no judgement can be made about the discernment of conscience of the individual receiving. I can’t ‘expose’ anyone then. But when we take our understanding of the Eucharist seriously, there can be no superficial practice of giving Communion to just anyone. Therefore, as the priest giving Communion, I am obliged to offer people, at a suitable occasion, personal and spiritual guidance – and explain our understanding of the Eucharist more deeply. And yes, the praxis of individual pastoral care can indeed lead to singular and temporary situations. But in my opinion an official regulation of such exceptions can make it even more likely for such exceptions to become the rule. The current debate already shows that. It is basically less about the “serious spiritual need of individuals,” and more about the interdenominational marriages in general.”

A pleasant meeting, criticism allowed – Scandinavian bishops on Ad Limina

The bishops of Scandinavia are wrapping up their ad limina visit to Rome these days. Tomorrow will be the last of their six-day program, which included an audience with Pope Francis on Thursday. It is the first time the entire conference met with Pope Francis to discuss the state of affairs in their countries.

The Nordic Bishops’ Conference is made up of the bishops of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland, and has six members: Bishop Czeslaw Kozon of Copenhagen, Bishop Anders Cardinal Arborelius of Stockholm, Bishop Bernt Eidsvig of Oslo and Trondheim, Bishop Berislav Grgic of Troms∅, Bishop David Tencer of Reykjavik and Bishop Teemu Sippo of Helsinki. This ad limina is the first time that they have a cardinal among them: Stockholm’s Cardinal Arborelius, and one of the daily Masses celebrated by the bishops took place in the cardinal’s title church of Santa Maria degli Angeli. In an interview with Domradio, Cardinal Arborelius commented:

“One could say that that is my home in Rome. As cardinal one is connected in a special way to Rome, to Peter, the Holy See. And that is why every cardinal has the privilege of a church of his own in Rome. I feel somehow at home here, which is a strange but beautiful experience.

[…]

[In this church] they really try and bring the social teachings of the Church to life. People in need are helped here, and that is a prophetic message for the entire Church. We should be concerned more about those in need.”

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The bishops visited most of the dicasteries of the curia, starting with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (pictured above). Prefect Cardinal Robert Sarah encouraged them to use the liturgy as an instrument of evangelisation and to promote its appreciation. Archbishop Arthur Roche, the secretary, lauded the high standards of the translations of the liturgical texts into the various Scandinavian languages.

On Thursday the bishops met with Pope Francis for ninety minutes in an informal setting. Joining them was Bishop Peter Bürcher, emeritus bishop of Reykjavik. Cardinal Arborelius:

“[Pope Francis] was very personable and said, “You may speak very openly with me and even be critical. It is allowed to criticise the pope here, but not beyond the walls of this room. But he said so in jest. It was a very open and also pleasant conversation.”

Some of the topics discussed were the question of youth and how they may be integrated in the life of the Church, with an eye on the upcoming Synod of Bishops assembly on youth and vocation; but also the situation of migrants, which is especially noteworthy for the Church in Scandinavia, as she grows there thanks to immigrants. Pope Francis also asked about the celebration of the sacraments, vocations, ecumenism and the life of priests in Scandinavia. The bishops and the pope also looked back on the papal visit to Lund, which, the bishops said, left a great impression, among both Catholics and Lutherans.

Bishop Czeslaw Kozon of Copenhagen, and also president of the bishops’ conference, summarised a part of the audience with the pope in this video from Vatican News:

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^On the first day of their ad limina visit, the Nordic bishops celebrated Mass above the tomb of St. Peter, underneath St. Peter’s Basilica.

Seventeen years in the see of Boniface – Heinz-Josef Algermissen retires

It couldn’t have come on a more fitting day for the Diocese of Fulda. On 5 June they celebrated the feast day of their patron St. Boniface, which was celebrated over the weekend with the annual Bonifatius Fest which drew some 8,000 visitors, among them the bishop of that other diocese closely linked to St Boniface: Msgr. Ron van den Hout of Groningen-Leeuwarden.

Algermissen2On the same 5th of June it was announced this had been the last such day presided over by Bishop Heinz Joshistef Algermissen. That was not unexpected, as the bishop reached the age of 75 in February, and there was no reason to assume that his retirement would not be accepted within the following months. Bishop Algermissen led the Diocese of Fulda since 2001. Before that he served as an auxiliary bishop of Paderborn for five years.

The Diocese of Fulda, which traces its origins to the establishment of a monastery by the aforementioned St. Boniface in 744. In 751 the monastery became an abacy nullius under the direct responsibility of the Holy See, making the abbots independent from the local bishops. The prosperity of the abbacy grew, in 1220 it became an abbey-principality, and in 1752 it became a diocese in its own right, taking the name of Fulda. Over the subsequent centuries its borders were changed repeatedly, gaining territory in 1821 and 1929, and losing it in 1930 and 1973. The last change was a reflection of Cold War reality: parts of Fulda had been under Communist rule since the end of World War II, and in 1973 those parts, as well as parts of the Diocese of Würzburg, became a separate apostolic administration: Erfurt-Meiningen. In 1994 this became the Diocese of Erfurt.

Karte_Bistum_FuldaToday, the Diocese of Fulda covers the northerns and eastern parts of the Land of Hesse, a small part of Thuringia and and exclave in Bavaria. Within its 10,318 square kilometres live some 400,000 Catholics a little of 20% of the entire population. It remains a pilgrimage site because of St. Boniface’s wish to be buried there, instead of in Mainz or Utrecht. He had been killed in the Frisian swamps near what is now Dokkum in the Netherlands (hence the connection to the the Diocese of Groningen-Leeuwarden, hinted at above). With the acceptance of the retirement of Bishop Algermissen, and until the catedral chapter has chosen a diocesan administrator, Bishop Karlheinz Diez leads the diocese. He is Fulda’s sole auxiliary, making him the automatic choice for the role.

During his years in office, Bishop Algermissen had a clear eye on the future, creating 43 parish communities in ten deaneries by 2006, and in 2017 he created the strategy for the next decades until 2030. “When many today see an ever denser curtain blocking heaven from view and when the emancipation from God becomes a program, we are urgently called to establish a countermovement,” the bishop declared.

Commenting in Bishop Algermissen’s retirement, Cardinal Reinhard Marx expressed his gratitude for his service and hospitality (the German bishops meet in Fulda for their autumn plenary meetings), but also referred to his pro-life stance: “Regarding your work, I emphasise the special attention to unborn and dying life: protecting life from beginning to end has, also in public debates, always been a heartfelt concern for you.”

Bishop Algermissen was  a member of the Liturgy Commission and the Ecumenism Commission in the German Bishops’ Conference. He was vice-president of the latter commission.

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At last weekend’s Bonifatiusfest, a toast from Groningen-Leeuwarden canon Fr. Paul Verheijen to Bishop Algermissen (Credit: R. Leupolt)

The election of the new bishop follows the usual rules laid down in the Concordat between Prussia and the Holy See of 1929: the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, requests suggestions for the new bishop from the dioceses covering the former territory of Prussia and sends these to the pope. The pope, or rather the Congregation for Bishops, and following the collection of further information on the candidates by the nuncio, selects his three favoured candidates, and this list is then sent to the cathedral chapter, who elect their new bishop from that list. After approval from the governments of, in this case, Hesse and Thuringia, the cathedral chapter sends the name of the elected to the pope, who then appoints him. Following the publication of the name of the new bishop, a date for consecration (if the new appointee is not a bishop yet) and installation. The consecration of the new bishop falls to the metropolitan of the Church province of which Fulda is a part: Archbishop Hans-Josef Becker of Paderborn. Before this, however, the new bishop makes an oath of loyalty to the German state and the Länder of Hesse and Thuringia.

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^On the day that Bishop Algermissen retired, the newly-appointed bishop of Würzburg, Msgr. Franz Jung, made his oath of loyalty to the prime minister of Bavaria, Markus Söder. Bishop-elect Jung will be consecrated and installed on 10 June. (Credit: Markus Hauck (POW))