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By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Aug 03, 2010

Another month, another birthday. Cardinal Paul Poupard, the former president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, will turn 80 this month (August 30), and become ineligible to participate in a papal conclave.

In September, three other cardinals (De Giorgi, Daoud, and Giordano) will pass the same milestone. At that point, the number of cardinal-electors will be down to 103— or even lower, if death strikes any younger cardinal.

With the statutory limit for the number of cardinal-electors fixed at 120, Pope Benedict has plenty of room to fill in the College. And with easily a dozen archbishops now holding posts that are ordinarily held by cardinals, it’s seems nearly certain that the Pope will call a consistory later this year.

What does that mean, as a practical matter? It means that if the archbishop of a major see issues a public statement, you can be sure that they’ll read that statement in Rome, and you can be very sure that the archbishop is keenly aware of that, too.

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  • Posted by: annemarie - Aug. 18, 2010 3:08 PM ET USA

    New Cardinals – an opportune time to begin dismantling the “Good Old Boys Club”. The Church doesn’t need more bishops who have spent their priesthoods in academia, polishing crosiers and miters in their hope chests and being politically correct, instead of faithfully following the teaching of the Church’s Magisterium - which is rather odd because they are part of that body. Now is the time to appoint parish pastors who are orthodox, holy priests, and have the backbone to be good shepherds.

  • Posted by: jmjusa - Aug. 18, 2010 7:38 AM ET USA

    Phil's predictions will be wrong as usual. There will be more than one American elevated to the college of Cardinals.

  • Posted by: jflare293129 - Aug. 18, 2010 1:31 AM ET USA

    *coughs* Forgive my poor catechesis, but what the dickens is a "consistory"?

  • Posted by: Paul - Ave Law '07 - Aug. 03, 2010 5:25 PM ET USA

    Has CatholicCulture carried any direct coverage of Archbp. Ranjith's recent initiative in Colombo, Sri Lanka?

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