Monday 22 February 2010

Sacred College Vacancies

Following upon discussion of vacanct Sees in Ireland, it is interesting to note that the Sacred College is also witnessing vacancies brought about by the limits in age and number confirmed by the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis. That is to say, a maximum of 120 Cardinals Elector may participate in the Papal Conclave and, of those, only those who are below the age of 80 years may participate.

At present, the Sacred College holds only 110 Cardinals eligible to participate in the next Conclave, His Eminence, Cardinal Ambrozic having reached the age of 80 on 27th January, 2010. During the course of 2010, Their Eminences, Cardinals Maida, Williams, Casado (all 3 in March), McCarrick (July), Poupard (August), De Giorgi, Daoud, Giordano (all 3 in September), Tumi (October) and Pujats (November) will reach the age of 80.

Thus, by the end of this year, the Holy Father will have occasion to replace one sixth of the Cardinals Elector. A further 9 Cardinals will reach 80 years in the course of 2011, 13 during 2012, 10 during 2013, 9 during 2014, only 3 in 2015, and a whopping 15 in 2016.

Of course, it would be hard to exceed the record of Pope Leo XIII who, in the course of a 25 year reign, outlived every other member of the Conclave that elected him.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us!