On October 9, Pope Francis announced a consistory on November 19 in which he will hand a red hat to 17 men. The news reports talk about the countries from which these new cardinals come. They also mention that Pope Francis will have appointed 44 cardinals able to vote in the next conclave.
 
I thought it would be hard to believe that, in a mere 3-1/2 years, any pope could name 36% (44 of the 120) of the cardinals eligible to vote. I have done limited historical research and discovered that Pope Benedict had named 44 who were of voting age at the time they were created in the 25 months between November 2010 and November 2011.
 
Here’s my news: Before September 2019, less than three years from now, Pope Francis (and any successor) could appoint a majority of cardinals eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a pope. (I say “could” because there is no obligation to ensure that there are 120 electors.)
 
 
The two essential facts for this news are:
 
1.None of the 13 voting age cardinals created in this coming consistory is older than 77. In fact, their average age is 66.7 and three are under 60. So, none of these 13 will lose their eligibility to vote by September 2019.
 
2.There are 20 cardinals currently age 77 or older who will turn 80, and therefore become ineligible to vote, by September 2019. (Of these 20, three were named by Pope Francis.)
 
So, by September 2019, at the latest, Pope Francis (and any successor):
 
--will have named 44 voting age cardinals (which includes all of the 13 just named, but three of whom will age out), and
 
--may have named at least 20 newly opened vacancies in voting age cardinals that will occur between now and September 2019.
 
This would give Pope Francis (and any successor) prior to September 2019, 61 voting age cardinals, more than a majority of the 120.
 
In addition, he (and any successor) may have filled the vacancies of any cardinals who die before age 80. 
 
Here follows a list of the cardinals named by Pope Francis to date:
 
Pietro Parolin Secretary of State
 
Lorenzo Baldisseri Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops
 
Gerhard Ludwig Müller Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
 
Beniamino Stella Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy
 
Vincent Gerard Nichols Archbishop of Westminster, England, United Kingdom
 
Leopoldo José Brenes Solórzano Archbishop of Managua, Nicaragua
 
Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, ISPX Archbishop of Quebec, Canada
 
Jean-Pierre Kutwa Archbishop of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
 
Orani João Tempesta, OCist Archbishop of São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
 
Gualtiero Bassetti Archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve, Italy
 
Mario Aurelio Poli Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina
 
Andrew Yeom Soo-jung Archbishop of Seoul, South Korea
 
Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, SDB Archbishop of Santiago de Chile, Chile
 
Philippe Nakellentuba Ouédraogo Archbishop of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
 
Orlando Beltrán Quevedo, OMI Archbishop of Cotabato, Philippines
 
Chibly Langlois Bishop of Les Cayes, Haiti
 
Loris Francesco Capovilla Prelate emeritus of Loreto, Italy
 
Fernando Sebastián Aguilar, CMF Archbishop emeritus of Pamplona y Tudela, Spain
 
Kelvin Edward Felix Archbishop emeritus of Castries, St. Lucia
 
Dominique Mamberti Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
 
Manuel José Macário do Nascimento Clemente Patriarch of Lisbon, Portugal
 
Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, CM Archbishop of Addis Abeba, Ethiopia
 
John Atcherley Dew Archbishop of Wellington, New Zealand
 
Edoardo Menichelli Archbishop of Ancona-Osimo, Italy
 
Pierre Nguyễn Văn Nhơn Archbishop of Hanoi, Vietnam
 
Alberto Suárez Inda Archbishop of Morelia, Mexico
 
Charles Maung Bo, SDB Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar
 
Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovitvanit Archbishop of Bangkok, Thailand
 
Francesco Montenegro Archbishop of Agrigento, Italy
 
Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, SDB Archbishop of Montevideo, Uruguay
 
Ricardo Blázquez Pérez Archbishop of Valladolid, Spain
 
José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán, OAR Bishop of David, Panama
 
Arlindo Gomes Furtado Bishop of Santiago de Cabo Verde, Cape Verde
 
Soane Patita Paini Mafi Bishop of Tonga, Tonga
 
José de Jesús Pimiento Rodríguez Archbishop emeritus of Manizales, Colombia
 
Luigi de Magistris Pro-Major Penitentiary emeritus, Italy
 
Karl-Josef Rauber Apostolic Nuncio (retired), Germany
 
Luis Héctor Villalba Archbishop emeritus of Tucumán, Argentina
 
Júlio Duarte Langa Bishop emeritus of Xai-Xai, Mozambique
 
Mario Zenari Apostolic Nuncio to Syria
 
Dieudonné Nzapalainga, C.S.Sp. Archbishop of Bangui, Central African Republic
 
Carlos Osoro Sierra Archbishop of Madrid, Spain
 
Sérgio da Rocha Archbishop of Brasília, Brazil
 
Blase Joseph Cupich Archbishop of Chicago, United States of America
 
Patrick D'Rozario, C.S.C. Archbishop of Dhaka, Bangladesh
 
Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo Archbishop of Mérida, Venezuela
 
Jozef De Kesel Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium
 
Maurice Piat, C.S.Sp. Bishop of Port-Louis, Mauritius
 
Kevin Joseph Farrell Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life
 
Carlos Aguiar Retes Archbishop of Tlalnepantla, Mexico
 
John Ribat, M.S.C. Archbishop of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
 
Joseph William Tobin, C.Ss.R. Archbishop of Indianapolis, United States of America
 
Anthony Soter Fernandez Archbishop Emeritus of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
 
Renato Corti Bishop Emeritus of Novara, Italy
 
Sebastian Koto Khoarai, O.M.I. Bishop Emeritus of Mohale's Hoek, Lesotho
 
Ernest Simoni Priest of the Archdiocese of Shkodrë-Pult, Albania
 
Spero columnist James M. Thunder is a Washington DC attorney.


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