U.S. Cardinal McCarrick Turns 80; Ceases To Be An Elector. College of Cardinals as of July 7, 2010 is at 179, 107 Electors & 72 Non-Electors

by: Anura Guruge

Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick with John Paul II, at the Vatican, in 2003
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick with John Paul II, at the Vatican, in 2003

Please refer to July 8, 2010 update
— one more retirement.

On July 7, 2010, U.S. Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick turned 80 and thus lost his right to be a cardinal elector. He, then the Archbishop for Washington, D.C., was created a cardinal in February 2001. He retired from the archdiocese per the Canon 354 requirement, in 2006, when he was 76. The U.S. is now down one elector to 11. But, that is still the second highest — with only Italy, with 19, having more.

This is the first major change to the makeup of the College since May 4, 2010 when the 92 year old Italian cardinal, Luigi Poggi passed way. [See below]

Between May 4 and now we have had 4 cardinals retire from their posts per the ’75’ year cut-off required per Canons 354 & 401 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law. [See below]

The College, as of May 7, 2010, is still at 179, but with 107 under the age of 80 (and thus eligible to vote at a conclave) and 72 over the age of 80. [The electors represent 59.7% of cardinals.]

We lost three electors during the month of March 2010, and five since the beginning of 2010. We have also lost a total of 4 cardinals since the beginning of 2010.

This is the smallest the College has been in awhile. The last time we were at these levels was in February 2001 when the college was down to 178 cardinals, albeit with 128 electors.

After the last consistory on November 24, 2007, there were 201 cardinals, with 120 eligible to vote . I had thought that we were due for another consistory last year. That did not happen.  This is not a problem. There is nothing wrong with having but 107 electors. Only 111 electors participated in both of the 1978 conclaves.

Please refer to THIS POST for the latest thinking on when we might get the next consistory and the status when it comes to the currently available vacancies.

Summary of Major Changes in the Last 12 Months

July 8, 2010: Colombian Cardinal Pedro Rubiano Sáenz retires as Archbishop of Bogotá. ** The College is still at = 179; electors = 107 **

July 7, 2010: U.S. Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick, on turning 80, ceased to be an elector. ** The College is still at = 179; electors = 107 ** << this post >>

July 1, 2010: German Cardinal Walter Kasper, retires as the President, Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. ** The College is still at = 179; electors = 108 **

June 30, 2010: Italian Cardinal Bishop Giovanni Battista Re, retires as the Prefect, Congregation for Bishops and is replaced by Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, my #3 papabili from 2009. ** The College is still at = 179; electors = 108 **

June 28, 2010: Indonesian Cardinal Jiulius Riyadi Darmaatmadja, retires as the Archbishop of Jakarta. ** The College is still at = 179; electors = 108 **

June 19, 2010: Latvian Cardinal Janis Pujats, retires as the Archbishop of Riga. ** The College is still at = 179; electors = 108 **

May 4, 2010: Italian Cardinal Luigi Poggi , at one time the archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church, died at the age of 92. ** The College now = 179; electors = 108 **

April 30, 2010: German Cardinal Paul Augustin Mayer, a Benedictine, died at the age of 98, twenty three days prior to turning 99. ** The College then = 180 **

April 16, 2010: Czechoslovakian Cardinal Tomáš Špidlík, a Jesuit, died at the age of 90. ** The College then = 181 **

March 31, 2010: Spanish Cardinal Julián Herranz Casado, Opus Dei, on turning 80 ceased to be an elector. We then had 108 electors. Julián Herranz Casado (b. March 31, 1930) of Spain, the retired President of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of the Legislative Texts and President of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia turned 80 and thus ceased to be an elector.  Spain has 10 cardinals, but only half of them are now eligible to vote. That still gives them a slight edge in terms of real representation. With 5 out of the 108 electors, Spain would a 4.6% representation if there were to be a conclave anytime soon. However, in terms of the world population of Catholics, Spain only has about 3.9%. So they can’t really complain, even though they probably will. Brazil with 3 times more Catholics has one less elector. Mexico with nearly twice more also only has 4 electors. The electors within the College does not reflect the population distribution of the Catholics. The U.S. and Europe gets preferential representation. This needs to be fixed at some point. <<q.v. Pages 7 to 11 of ‘The Next Pope‘ book (for free, of course) at Google Books.>> ** College then = 182 **

March 20, 2010: NZ Cardinal Thomas Stafford on turning 80 ceased to be an elector. We then had 109 electors. NZ no longer has a vote if there was to be a conclave. ‘Oceania,’ [i.e., the Pacific basin] now only has one elector, viz. Australian Cardinal George Pell (b. 1941) who was created a cardinal in 2005. It is just like the ‘old days.’ The October 1958 conclave that elected John XXIII (#262) was the first conclave attended by a cardinal from Oceania, Australia’s Norman Thomas Gilroy. <<q.v. Pages 116 & 261 of ‘The Next Pope’ (for free, of course) at Google Books.>> ** College then = 182 **

March 18, 2010: US Cardinal Adam Joseph Maida on turning 80 ceased to be an elector. We then had 110 electors. ** College then = 182 **

February 13, 2010: Cardinal Miloslav Vlk retired from being an Archbishop — but is still a bona fide elector. His resignation is per Code of Canon Law 401 § 1 requiring that diocesan bishops tender their resignation to the pope when they have completed their 75th year. ** College then = 182 **

January 27, 2010: Cardinal Aloysius Matthew Ambrozic on turning 80 became a non-elector. Canada has a total of 3 cardinals, two of whom are still electors; one of them, Cardinal Marc Ouellet a credible papabile. ** College then = 182 **

January 18, 2010: 76 year old Belgium Cardinal Godfried Danneels retired from being the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels. This did not alter the elector/non-elector numbers or the size of the College. Just changes the statistics as to the ‘occupations’ of the cardinals. ** College then = 182 **

January 10, 2010: Cardinal Armand Gaétan Razafindratandra, of Madagascar, Archbishop Emeritus of Antananarivo, died unexpectedly having had a fall while taking a walk. He had turned 84 last August.
** College then = 182 **

December 31, 2009: Cardinal Cahal Brendan Daly, of Ireland, Archbishop Emeritus of Armagh, died late in the day on Decmeber 31, 2009. He had turned 92 in October. ** College then = 183 **

December 30, 2009: Japanese Cardinal Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi, who had turned 81 this past June, died unexpectedly, in Tokyo. ** College then = 184 **

December 18, 2009: Cardinal Józef Glemp of Poland, created a cardinal by his compatriot in 1983, turned 80. He thus ceased to be an elector. That reduced the number of electors. ** College then = 185 **

November 17, 2009: Cardinal Christian Wiyghan Tumi of Cameroon, at 79, retired as the Archbishop of Douala. ** College then = 185 **

October 24, 2009: Italian Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, well over the 75 year retirement age, resigned from being the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. ** College then = 185 **

July 17, 2009: Cardinal Jean Margéot (Mauritius), a cardinal priest since 1988, died at the age of 93. ** College then = 185 **

I as is my wont, I checked yet again, a couple of days ago [i.e., July 5, 2010], on the Vatican list of cardinals. It has not been updated since February 20, 2010! So it is at 182 cardinals, 111 electors. So the Vatican list continues to fall out-of-step! To be fair, as far as I have seen, the Vatican has never claimed to be competent, not even when the Inquisition was running rampant. Just autocratic.

The Rationale for these Demographics

Following my “Next Pope — Papabili List for 2009,” I had some questions as to the amount of sway the curial cardinals would have at the next conclave. So I did some analysis on the composition of the current College beyond just age and nationalities. This is an ongoing effort to keep the data that I found up to-date. I also used these stats when writing my ‘The Next Pope – After Pope Benedict XVIbook.

Click for a 3 page PDF (94KB) of the College of Cardinals Stats
Click for a 3 page PDF (94KB) of the College of Cardinals Stats

Click here for a 3 page Adobe Acrobat PDF [94KB] of the latest College of Cardinals Statistics — In Detail

Of the 179 total cardinals:

  • 6 are Cardinal Bishops, 3 are Oriental Rites Patriarchs, 143 are Cardinal Priests & 27 Cardinal Deacons
  • Average age is 78 years
  • 32 belong to religious orders, with 2 more belonging to Opus Dei which is a Personal Prelature
  • The macro geographic breakdown is as follows:
    Africa 13, Americas 48 (U.S.A. 16), Asia 18, Europe 96 (Italy 38), Oceania 4
    Africa 12 countries, Americas 16, Asia 11, Europe 23, Oceania 2 — 64 countries in total
    Italy 38, U.S.A 16, Spain 10, France 9, Poland 8, Germany 6, Brazil 8, India 6, Argentina 4, Mexico 4, Canada 3, Ireland 2, Philippines 3 & Switzerland 3

Of the 107 cardinals, under the age of 80 [i.e., ‘electors’]:

  • 4 are Cardinal Bishops, 1 is an Oriental Rites Patriarch, 86 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 – 7, U.S.A. – 1, Canada – 1, Latin America – 2 , India – 1 & Africa – 1)
  • 57 (56) [[ see above, July 8, 2010 ]] are Archbishops including two Patriarchs – i.e., Venice and Lisbon (Portugal) << Please refer to June 19, 2010 posting >>
  • 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 (29) [[ see above, July 8, 2010 ]] 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 58
  • 19 belong to religious orders, 4 of whom are Salesians, 3 Franciscans, 2 Jesuits along with an additional 1 belonging to Opus Dei
  • 77 (71.9%) 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 32 (U.S.A. 11), 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 11, France 6, Spain 5, Germany 5, Brazil 4, Mexico 4, Poland 3, India 3 & Canada 2

Of the 72 cardinals, over the age of 80:

  • 2 are Cardinal Bishops, 2 are Oriental Rites Patriarch (Babylon of the Chaldeans & Antioch for Maronites), 57 are Cardinal Priests & 11 are Cardinal Deacons
  • 1 is an Archbishops – Cardinal Vithayathil, Syro-Malabra (India)
  • 66 are ‘retired,’ i.e., emeritus status
  • 2 are Oriental Rites Patriarchs
  • 3, Cardinal Deacons and distinguished academics all, fall into a ‘continuing prior career’ category in that they were created cardinals after they had turned 80 and were thus too old to hold curial offices.
  • Average age is 85 years; oldest Cardinal Tonini (Italy) at 95 with five in their 80th year.
  • 12 belong to religious orders with 6 of them Jesuits & 3 Franciscans plus 1 belonging to Opus Dei.
  • 4 of these cardinals were created by Pope Paul VI between 1969 and 1976
  • 62 (86%) by Pope John Paul II between 1979 and 2003
  • 6 by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 & 2007
  • The macro geographic breakdown is as follows:
    Africa 4, Americas 16 (U.S.A. 5), Asia 8, Europe 41 (Italy 19), Oceania 3
    Africa 4 countries, Americas 8, Asia 6, Europe 11, Oceania 2 — 31 countries in total
    Italy 19, Poland 5, Spain 5, Brazil 4, U.S.A 5, France 3, India 3

Hope this helps. All the best.



5 thoughts on “U.S. Cardinal McCarrick Turns 80; Ceases To Be An Elector. College of Cardinals as of July 7, 2010 is at 179, 107 Electors & 72 Non-Electors”

  1. Hi Anura,

    I really think that there could be a consitory at the end of the year.

  2. You cant be serious. Whatever you may think of Ratzinger Benedict it is highly inappropriate to bet on his early demise. If one compares the health of the late Woytila John Paul with that of Benoit it seem clear that he is nowhere near the feebleness debility and advancing senility of his predecessor.
    It seems obvious to me that he has at least five good years left possibly ten and not impossibly fifteen.
    BTW do you know what happened to Cardinal Etcheverria? the guy who was knocked down by the crazed woman who lunged at the Pope but instead got the nonageranian Basque cardinal. Very commonly people of both sexes with hip fractures die so I wouldnt bet on the longevity of poor C. E.
    If nothing spectacular happens such as a succesful attempt or a major accident I hope his Holiness is taking Calcium Biphosphonates and carries heavy weights on his back to stimulate bone regrowth
    as well as taking the sun and Vitamin D there is no reason why he shouldnt live to a ripe old pharaonic or
    patriarchal age. Remember Ramses the II lived to 92 as did Tiziano and Cato the elder.
    So that gives him ten years at least to the distress of pontificides.
    Speculating on and keeping up to date the list of the papabili is acceptable appropriate and reasonable and great fun but speculating nay even desiring the demise of the present pope is abominable and shameful.

  3. Mea culpa.
    Evidently I am not awake yet so I misunderstood consistory to mean conclave.
    Consistory obviously means the consecration or elevation of various eccelesiastics to the purple whereas the election of a new pope is indeed called a conclave where the cardinals are shut up by key to elect their successor after the death of the previous pope.
    My mistake.
    Still the subtext of any discussion of consistory or hint of a conclave or discussion of papabili clearly hints rather directly at the possible probable likely desirable need or option of a successor sooner rather than later.
    Otherwise the inclusion of any papabili of near retirement age is absurd as if the current occupier of the seat of St Peter may not do them the favour of expiring soon and vacating it for them.
    However there is one proviso namely that the whole nonsense of 75 or 80 year cut off is idiotic. What should instead be the criterion is not chronological but biological age. Some are very ill senile walking dead at 50 others are vigorous in full command of their bodies and minds at 90. Perhaps all cardinals should be given physical and mental tests and those results should be the criteria of serving in any capacity not the positivistic nonsense of the accident of chronological age as such.
    Say walk the length of St Peter’s in 59 seconds and recite the Tridentine mass in five languages of which one is Italian and the other Latin and the third Greek and the fourth English. French German Spanish Portugese Polish being optional if desirable. Alternately recite the Gospel and the Apocalypse in the same languages.
    Which most papabili could actually perform.

  4. Deo Gratias! I have been looking forward to the day when he was not eligible to vote for the next Holy Father. He doesn’t possess the moral quality of a proper priest, let alone a prince-elector of the Church; and I am being very discreet and charitable when I say that. He is the teflon don of the Church.

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