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Europe still dominates College of Cardinals

Catholic World News - February 20, 2012

With the addition of 22 new members at the consistory of February 18, the College of Cardinals now includes 213 members, of whom 125 are eligible to vote in a papal conclave.

Pope Benedict has now appointed 84 cardinals, including 63 who are under the age of 80 and thus eligible to vote in a papal election. Thus a bare majority of the cardinal-electors have been named by the current Pontiff.

All but 4 of the cardinals alive today were named by either Pope Benedict or his predecessor, Bl. John Paul II. Cardinals Eugenio de Araujo Sales, Luis Aponte Martinez, Paolo Arns, and William Baum were appointed by Pope Paul VI. All four of those prelates are now well above the age of 80.

The geographical distribution of the College of Cardinals remains heavily tilted toward Europe. There are 119 European cardinals, of whom 67 are electors. Thus the European cardinals account for a majority of the College, and would make up a majority in a conclave.

There are 29 cardinals from Latin America, 19 from North America (including Mexico), 20 from Asia, 17 from Africa, and 4 from Oceania. Among the cardinal-electors, 22 are from South America, 15 from North America, 11 from Africa, and 10 from Asia and Oceania.

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