New cardinals? They’ll be more of the same

National Catholic Reporter

July 23, 2020

By Phyllis Zagano

The good news is 15 new cardinals seem to be on the Roman horizon. The bad news is they are all men. Yes, Francis will choose from the peripheries. Yes, he will most probably select the usual suspects — the archbishops of Washington, D.C., and Paris, for example. But a mix of major sees, elderly theologians and surprise picks is probably the best he can do right now.

Don’t expect a woman’s name to be on the list.

The 1917 Code of Canon Law decreed cardinals — advisers to the pope and electors of his successor — must be “at least” priests. The 1983 code added they “must receive episcopal ordination” if not already bishops (Canon 351.1).

Not every cardinal-designate is already a bishop — Jesuit Cardinal Michael Czerny is a recent exception — but usually only elderly priest theologians join the college of cardinals. Usually more than 80 years old, they are not invited to papal conclaves.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.