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Cardinal Coppa dies; Cardinal Lehmann marks 80th birthday

May 17, 2016

The death of one cardinal and the 80th birthday of another has left the College of Cardinals with 214 living members, of whom 114 are eligible to participate in a papal election.

Cardinal Karl Lehmann, the retired Bishop of Mainz, Germany, celebrated his 80th birthday on May 17. He thus cannot participate in a future conclave.

Cardinal Giovanni Coppa, a veteran Vatican diplomat, died on May 16 at the age of 90. An Italian native, he had served most recently as apostolic nuncio to Slovakia and the Czech Republic, retiring in 2001. He received his red hat from Pope Benedict XVI in 2007-- when, because of his age, he was already ineligible to be a cardinal-elector.

With seven more cardinals due to turn 80 before the end of this year, and four more in the early months of 2017, Pope Francis is likely to schedule a conclave sometime within the next 12 months to replenish the group of cardinal-electors.


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