90 Year Old, Cardinal Patriarch Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir Also Retires, 3 Retirements in 3 Days; College Still at 201, Electors 117

by: Anura Guruge

The College of Cardinals tables have NOT been updated to reflect this retirement which only changes the ’employment’ status numbers; i.e., Archbishop vs. Emeritus. The tables will most likely be updated on March 4, 2011 when another cardinal turns 80.

We now have 112 cardinals who are retired, with 32 of them cardinal-electors.

90 Year Old Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir retires

On Saturday, February 26, 2011, 90 year old, Cardinal Patriarch Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir, Patriarch of Antiochia of the Maronites, tendered his resignation [i.e., sought retirement]. Western archbishops, per Canon Law 401 of the 1983 Code, need to submit their resignation when they turn 75. The criteria are different for Oriental Rites patriarchs such as Sfeir. There is a separate set of Canons for the Eastern Churches — the 1990 Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEO). Canon 126 of CCEO, viz. ‘ Canon 126 – §1. The patriarchal see becomes vacant at the death or resignation of the patriarch. §2. The synod of bishops of the patriarchal Church is competent to accept the resignation of the patriarch, having consulted with the Roman Pontiff, unless the patriarch approaches the Roman Pontiff directly.’ covers this aspect. Note, that in major contrast to the Western Code there is no age limit specified for the Oriental Patriarchs.

Sfeir was elected Patriarch of Antiochia of the Maronites in 1986. He was created a cardinal in 1994. He lost his right to participate in conclaves in 2000. He thus never participated in a conclave.

This was the third retirement within a space of 3 days, U.S. Cardinal Priest Roger Michael Mahony retiring on February 27, 2011 and the ailing German cardinal priest Georg Maximilian Sterzinsky having retired on February 24, 2011.

These retirements from pastoral government does not alter the composition of the College in terms of electors and non-electors. Those stay the same, with the electors now down to 117 with Italian cardinal Ruini turning 80 nine days ago. We will lose another in 4 days.

The College continues at 201 — no longer at the record high it was immediately after the November 20, 2010 cardinal creating consistory.


As of February 28, 2011, there are 117 cardinal electors with 84 no longer able to participate in a conclave.
[The electors represent 58% of cardinals.]

**********
The College, as of December 3, 2010, was at 201 — no longer the largest ever.


Summary of Major Changes in the Last 12 Months

February 27, 2011: U.S. cardinal priest Roger Mahony retired from being Archbishop of L.A. on the very day he turned 75. ** College continues at 201, electors = 117 **

February 26, 2011: 90 Year Old, Cardinal Patriarch Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir, Patriarch of Antiochia of the Maronites retires. ** College continues at 201, electors = 117 **

February 24, 2011: German cardinal priest Georg Maximilian Sterzinsky retired from being Archbishop of Berlin on turning 75. ** College continues at 201, electors = 117 **

February 21, 2011: 6 cardinal deacons created in 2001 receive jus optionis promotion to cardinal priests. ** College continues at 201, electors = 117 **

February 19, 2011: Italian Cardinal Carmillo Runi ceased to be an elector. ** The College continues at 201, electors = 117 **

February 12, 2011: Spanish Cardinal Agustín García-Gasco Vicente ceased to be an elector. ** The College continues at 201, electors = 118 **

February 10, 2011: Ukrainian Cardinal, Lubomyr Husar retired. ** The College continues at 201, electors = 119 **

February 6, 2011: Filipino Cardinal Ricardo Jamin Vidal ceased to be an elector. ** The College continues at 201, electors = 119 **

January 26, 2011: French Cardinal Bernard Panafieu ceased to be an elector. ** The College continues at 201, electors = 120 **

January 12, 2011: Brazilian Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo Retires. ** The College continues at 201, electors = 121 **

January 4, 2011: Curial, Slovenian Cardinal Franc Rodé Retires. ** The College continues at 201, electors = 121 **

◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊ 2011 ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊

December 15, 2010: Chilean Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa Retires. ** The College continues at 201, electors = 121 **

December 2, 2010: 80 year old Italian cardinal priest, Michele Giordano dies. ** The College now at 201, electors = 121 **

November 22, 2010: 90 year old Spanish Cardinal Urbano Navarrete Cortés, S.J., dies. ** The College now at 202, electors = 121 **

November 20, 2010: Cardinal creating consistory at which 24 cardinals, 20 electors were created. ** The College now at 203, electors = 121 **

November 14, 2010: Latvian Cardinal Priest Jānis Pujats turned 80 and ceased to be a cardinal elector. ** The College continues at 179, electors = 101 **

October 15, 2010: Philippines Cardinal Priest Ricardo Jamin Vidal retires. But still an elector. ** The College continues at 179, electors = 102 **

October 15, 2010: Cameroon Cardinal Priest Christian Wyghan Tumi of Cameroon Turned 80 and thus ceased to be an elector. ** The College continues at 179; electors = 102 **

October 11, 2010: Italian Cardinal Priest Severino Poletto retires. But still an elector. ** The College continues at 179; electors= 103 (no change) **

October 7, 2010: Brazilian Cardinal Priest Cláudio Hummes, O.F. M. and German Cardinal Deacon Paul Josef Cordes retire. But are still electors. ** The College continues at 179; electors = 103 (no change) **

October 2, 2010: Guatemalan Cardinal Priset Rodolfo Quezada Toruño retires but is still an elector. ** The College continues at 179; electors= 103 (no change) **

September 26, 2010: Italian Cardinal Priest Michele Giordano turned 80, thus ceasing to be a cardinal elector. ** The College continues at 179; electors= 103 **

September 18, 2010: Syrian, Oriental Rites Cardinal Bishop Ignace Moussa I Daoud turned 80, thus ceasing to be a cardinal elector. ** The College continues at 179; electors= 104 **

September 6, 2010: Italian Cardinal Priest Salvatore De Giorgi turned 80, thus ceasing to be a cardinal elector. ** The College continues at 179; electors= 105 **

August 30, 2010: French Cardinal Priest Paul Poupard turned 80 and ceased to be a cardinal elector. ** The College is still at 179; electors= 106 **

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 **

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 **

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.

Hope this helps. All the best.

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