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Italian journalist predicts consistory, new cardinals, in November

Catholic World News - September 07, 2010

An Italian journalist covering the Vatican has reported that Pope Benedict XVI will call a consistory for November of this year to raise new members to the College of Cardinals.

Marco Tosatti of La Stampa says that the Pope will announce the consistory before the close of the Middle East Synod, which will conclude on October 24. The Italian journalist does not cite any source for his prediction.

Many Vatican journalists have predicted that a consistory will take place before the end of this year—although none has been as definite in setting the time for the event. The number of cardinals eligible to vote in a papal election has slipped to 105, and will drop to 100 by the end of November as cardinals reach their 80th birthdays and become ineligible to participate in a conclave. Current rules allow for a maximum of 120 cardinal-electors, so the Pope would have 20 spaces available to fill at a late-November consistory.

Tosatti names 26 prelates who are likely to receive red hats at the consistory. Again he offers no source for his predictions. With that number of appointments, the Pope would exceed the normative limit for the number of cardinal-electors. Although the Holy Father has the authority to change those rules, Benedict XVI has indicated that he plans to abide by them.

Among those listed by Tosatti as likely to become cardinals are:

Tosatti also lists the heads of a number of major archdioceses, including Archbishops Reinhard Marx of Munich, Kazimierz Nycz of Warsaw, André-Joseph Leonard of Brussels, Orani Joao of Rio de Janeiro, Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo, and Thomas Collins of Toronto.

Among US archbishops, apart from Archbishop Burke, Tosatti sees only one likely candidate for a red hat: Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC. He notes that two others—Archbishops Timothy Dolan of New York and Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore—are unlikely to become cardinals this year because each presides over an archdiocese whose former leader (Cardinals Edward Egan of New York and William Keeler of Baltimore) remains a cardinal-elector.

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