Yet Again, A Scarlet Stunner – Francis Goes Deep Into Bleachers for 20 New Cardinals; None From US

Whispers in the Loggia

As expected, at this Sunday’s noontime Angelus, the Pope revealed the names of 20 cardinals-designate – 15 electors, five over 80 – who’ll receive the red hat at the 14 February Consistory.

Yet again, Francis’ second biglietto (ticket) into his Senate represents a shock to the system – again, no Americans (a second consecutive shut-out unseen in almost four decades), while for the first time, membership in the papal electorate goes to prelates from Myanmar, Cape Verde, Panama and Tonga, and returns to long-unvisited locales in New Zealand, Thailand, Ethiopia and Uruguay.

All in all, the ongoing shake-up of the College reiterates Francis’ desire to bring the church’s “peripheries” to its center in the forum which will determine the church’s direction after his pontificate ends – and, of course, the talent pool from which a new Pope has invariably been drawn for the last eight centuries.

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