Coming soon: announcement of new cardinals
The most experienced and reliable journalists covering the Vatican—such as Andrea Tornielli of Il Giornale, John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter, and Paolo Rodari of Il Foglio—are united in agreement the Pope Benedict XVI will soon call a consistory to name new members of the College of Cardinals. The announcement is imminent, they believe; it might even come this Sunday at the Pontiff’s Angelus audience.
These experts also agree that the Pope’s selections will reinforce the power of the Italian bloc within the Sacred College. Several Italians serving in the Roman Curia are regarded as near-certain picks:
- Archbishops Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints;
- Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, the newly appointed prefect of the Congregation for Clergy;
- Archbishop Fortunato Baldelli, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary;
- Archbishop Francesco Monterisi, the archpriest of the basilica of St. Paul-outside-the Walls, and
- Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
The Archbishops of Florence (Giuseppe Betori) and Palermo (Paolo Romeo) are also good bets for red hats. And several other Italians are strong possibilities. With only 18 openings for cardinal-electors, the Italian contingent seems likely to account for roughly half of the incoming class.
- Archbishop Kurt Koch of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity;
- Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz of Warsaw;
- Archbishop Reinhard Marx of Munich; and
- Archbishop Albert Ranjith of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Two American prelates are on the consensus list. Archbishop Raymond Burke, the head of the Apostolic Signatura, is regarded as a shoo-in for a red hat. Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC, is not a certainty but still a safe pick.
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