Latvian Cardinal Janis Pujats, 79, Relinquishes Diocesan Duties. Cardinals 179, Cardinal Electors 108.

As with heads of curial dicasteries, diocesan bishops must tender their resignations to the pope upon completing their seventy-fifth year of life. This requirement for curial heads is covered in Canon 354 of the 1983 Code whereas that for diocesan bishops is embodied in Canon 401. [Just yesterday we talked about the anticipated resignation of Cardinal Re from the Congregation of Bishops since he is now 76.]

Today, i.e., June 19, 2010,  it was announced that the pope had accepted the resignation of Latvian Cardinal Janis Pujats as Archbishop of Riga. Pujats, who was born on November 14, 1930, is 79 and will cases to be an elector in November. So the resignation was pending for three years. This is not unusual.

Cardinal Pujats’ resignation ONLY changes the employment status statistics pertaining to the College; i.e., we now have one more retired cardinal. The average age for the electors has also ticked up one to 73 from 72.

This is the first change, of any sort, to the demographics of the College as of May 4, 2010 when 98 year old German Cardinal Paul Augustin Mayer passed away. Please refer to that posting for all the demographics and a list of what has changed over the last six months.

If nothing else changes prior to that, we will lose another cardinal elector on July 7, 2010.

I am just going to update the demographics of the 108 cardinal electors to reflect today’s resignation:

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
  • 19 hold curial offices. Of these 2 are cardinal bishops (viz. Bertone & Re), 5 are cardinal priests and the others cardinal deacons
    (Italy – 7, Rest of Europe – 7, U.S.A. – 1, Latin America – 2 , India – 1 & Africa – 1)
  • 60 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
  • 25 are ‘retired,’ i.e., emeritus status
  • 1, viz. Cardinal Bernard Francis Law (formally of Boston, USA), is an Archpriest
  • Average age is 73 years; 12 in their 79th year, youngest being Peter Erdö (Hungary) at 57 (soon 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.

Anura Guruge