Pope Francis Announces the Names of 20 New Cardinals, 15 of them Electors.


Gerard O’Connell | Jan 4 2015

Pope Francis has announced that he will create 15 new cardinals from 13 countries who will have the right to vote in the next conclave, almost all are bishops of dioceses from all continents, and several are from ‘the peripheries’ of the world.

He will also give the red hat to 5 retired archbishops and bishops who are over the age of 80 and are “distinguished for their pastoral charity in the service of the Holy See and of the Church”.

Significantly, abiding by past practice, he has not named any new cardinal-elector from a see where there is still a cardinal under the age of 80, and so he has not given the red hat to the archbishops of Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Madrid or Sydney.

At the time of the announcement there were 10 vacant places in the College of Cardinal Electors, which according to the norms set by Paul VI and approved by his successors should have a total of 120 members. Pope Francis, however, has decided to exceed that number by 5, and so on the day he holds the Consistory, if my calculations are correct, there will be a total of 125 cardinal electors.

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