Friday, May 19, 2006

A little tidbit to consider

The Washington Post's article a few days ago on Bishop Wuerl's move to DC had this little tidbit:

Wuerl will be installed June 22 as the sixth archbishop of Washington, a position that traditionally puts him in line to become a cardinal.

Since the consistory, one cardinal has died, but he was over 80. A cardinal-elector is going to have to die or have an 80th birthday between now and next year for Bishop Wuerl to get a red hat (if the Holy Father sticks to the 120 limit). That shouldn't be a problem, as I count ten cardinals who will turn 80 between now and the end of next March.

Looking at the birthdays though, there is a trend to be seen. As time goes on, fewer and fewer cardinals will be turning 80 every year. If Benedict appoints younger men (Wuerl for instance is only 65) to the college, yearly consistories for cardinatial installations (barring death) to keep the number of electors up at 120 would become unnecessary. Of course, Benedict's intention to get everyone together and chat would be reason enough to hold a consistory...

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