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American cardinal could announce election of next Pope

June 24, 2014

A little-noticed change in the College of Cardinals could mean that an American prelate would announce the election of the next Roman Pontiff, notes the Catholic Sentinel of the Portland, Oregon diocese.

At a consistory last weekend, Pope Francis promoted Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran to the ceremonial rank of cardinal-priest. Cardinal Tauran had been the senior cardinal-deacon. Among the cardinals eligible to participate in a papal election, the senior cardinal-deacon is now Cardinal William Levada, the retired prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The senior cardinal-deacon is, by Vatican tradition, the prelate who announces to the world the identity of a newly elected Pontiff. Cardinal Levada will hold that role until his 80th birthday in June 2016.


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