Per the 1983 Code of Canon Law Canons 354 & 401, heads of curial dicasteries and diocesan bishops must tender their resignations to the pope upon completing their seventy-fifth year of life.
That Cardinal Re (senior most cardinal bishop under 80) was due to retire per ’401, ‘ and was likely to be replaced by my #3 papabili (as of December 2009), Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., was already talked about here on June 18, 2010, thanks to the heads-up from my cardinal & bishop watched, John Stabeno, ‘an insider’ of sorts [[smile]]. I have a write-up of Marc Ouellet on page 17 – 18 of ‘The Next Pope‘. If you are interested use Google Books or Amazon to read the pages given that I assume you don’t have the book. This is a big deal for Canada. Ouellet, a Sulpician, is on the editorial board of Communio, a theological review founded in 1972, with the current pope being one of the founders.
This is the fourth resignation in 11 days. Much of this has to do with the rapidly approaching Summer ‘recces’ for the pope — who leaves the heat of Rome in July and heads to the cooler climes of Castel Gandolfo for the Summer. Basically the Vatican is trying to get appointments in place prior to the recces.
Cardinal Re’s resignation and Cardinal Ouellet’s appointment yet AGAIN ONLY changes the employment status statistics pertaining to the College; i.e., we now have one more retired cardinal, one less Archbishop and the demographics of the curial heads change.
If nothing else changes prior to that, we will lose another cardinal elector on July 7, 2010.
You should also, please, check out THIS posting on the current vacancies when it comes to cardinalate title.
I am just going to update the demographics of the 108 cardinal electors to reflect today’s [i.e., June 30, 2010] changes:
Of the 108 cardinals, under the age of 80 [i.e., 'electors']:
- 4 are Cardinal Bishops, 1 is an Oriental Rites Patriarch, 87 are Cardinal Priests & 16 are Cardinal Deacons
- 18 hold curial offices. Of these 1 is a cardinal bishops (viz. Bertone), 6 are cardinal priests and 11 are cardinal deacons
(Italy – 6, Rest of Europe – 6, U.S.A. – 1, Canada – 1, Latin America – 2 , India – 1 & Africa – 1)
- 58 are Archbishops including two Patriarchs – i.e., Venice and Lisbon (Portugal)
- 1 is Bishop — Mainz (Germany)
- 1 is the Vicar General of Rome, viz. Cardinal Agostino Vallini (papabile)
- 1 is the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of Jerusalem, viz. Cardinal John Patrick Foley
- 28 are ‘retired,’ i.e., emeritus status
- 1, viz. Cardinal Bernard Francis Law (formally of Boston, USA), is an Archpriest
- Average age is 73 years; 13 in their 79th year, youngest being Peter Erdö (Hungary) at 58
- 19 belong to religious orders, 4 of whom are Salesians, 3 Franciscans, 2 Jesuits along with an additional 1 belonging to Opus Dei
- 78 (72.2%) of these cardinals were created by Pope John Paul II between 1983 and 2003
- 30 were created by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 & 2007
- The macro geographic breakdown is as follows:
Africa 9, Americas 33 (U.S.A. 12), Asia 10, Europe 55 (Italy 19), Oceania 1
Africa 8 countries, Americas 14, Asia 7, Europe 21, Oceania 1 — 51 countries in total
Italy 19, U.S.A 12, France 6, Spain 5, Germany 5, Brazil 4, Mexico 4, Poland 3, India 3 & Canada 2
Hope this helps. Cheers.