Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Newsflash: Cardinals Are Old Men

We can't speak to the truth of this, but according to a commenter on WDTPRS, the College of Cardinals is years away from a sweeping change: 

Presently there are 115 Cardinal Electors i.e. only 5 vacancies. Between now and the end of 2009 only 3 Electors will reach the age of 80 [when they cease to be electors]. Therefore there is unlikely to be a Consistory until Spring 2010.

But then look what happens. The vacancies for the succeeding years will be:

2010 #11
2011 #9
2012 #13
2013 #10
2014 #9

... a total of 52 plus 8 from 2008 and 2009 makes 60. Half the College of Electors will change within 5 years!

Logically, if Pope Benedict wants to preserve his own legacy, he needs to appoint cardinal-electors who share his outlook. On the other hand, JPII enlarged the College far beyond its traditional size. One wonders whether it is possible for this supersized body to have a conclave that is truly prayerful, thoughtful and reasoned.  Some might argue that the church might not be better served by a smaller and more, um, collegial group of electors.

No comments: