During his Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis announced that he was going to create 17 new Cardinals, new members of the College of Cardinals. As reported by the Register’s Vatican correspondent Edward Pentin, the list contains 13 Cardinal Electors – meaning they are under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a papal conclave – and 4 Cardinals over the age of 80 who are being honored for their long service to the Church. The list of new Cardinals is:
- Archbishop Mario Zenari, Italy
- Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Central African Republic
- Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra, Spain
- Archbishop Sérgio da Rocha, Brazil
- Archbishop Blase J. Cupich, U.S.A.
- Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario, Bangladesh
- Archbishop Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo, Venezuela
- Archbishop Jozef De Kesel, Belgium
- Archbishop Maurice Piat, Mauritius
- Archbishop Kevin Joseph Farrell, U.S.A.
- Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes, Mexico
- Archbishop John Ribat, Papua Nuova Guinea
- Archbishop Mons. Joseph William Tobin U.S.A.
Cardinals over 80
- Archbishop Anthony Soter Fernandez, Archbishop Emeritus of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
- Archbishop Renato Corti, Archbishop Emeritus of Novara Italy
- Archbishop Sebastian Koto Khoarai, Bishop Emeritus of Mohale’s Hoek Lesotho
- Father Ernest Simoni, presbytery of the Archdiocese of Shkodrë-Pult, Scutari – Albania
Read Ed Pentin’s excellent discussion of the new Cardinals (be sure to read his assessment of the names not included this time around), but several points are worth exploring further, starting with the numbers.
Francis has now appointed 44 Cardinals in three and a half years. That is partly a product of attrition as a large group of Cardinals named under St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI had reached the threshold of being over 80. The pace, however, is considerable, and with the Consistory on November 19 when these new members of the College are officially installed, there will be 56 Cardinals named by Benedict and 21 by John Paul II. A few more consistories and Francis will have tipped the balance of Cardinals in favor of those appointed during his pontificate.
Using political terms (not always ideal in an ecclesiastical sense), Cardinals-elect Cupich of Chicago, Tobin of Indianapolis, Farrell late of Dallas and now an official in the Roman Curia and De Kesel of Mechelen-Brussels would be described as “moderates,” but other members, such as Cardinal-elect Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid, are known for being of a more conservative temperament. All of them, however, are noted for their shared vision with Francis of pastoral leadership.
From the American perspective, Cupich’s appointment comes as little surprise to observers. He was named personally as archbishop of Chicago in 2014 by Francis and just a few months ago was appointed to be a member of the Congregation of Bishops, the Vatican office in charge of finding and recommending new candidates to head the world’s growing number of dioceses and archdioceses.