Pope Benedict XVI named two dozen new cardinals, including two from the United States: Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, a top Vatican official, and Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington. The new cardinals will be installed in a special consistory to be held at the Vatican, Nov. 20.
The Pope made his announcement Oct. 20 at the conclusion of his weekly Wednesday general audience. “The universality of the church is reflected in the list of new cardinals,” he said. More than a dozen countries are represented by the new cardinals, including four from African countries, two from Latin America, two from North America, and one representing Asia.
Among the new cardinals, 20 are under the age of 80 and are hence eligible to vote in the case of a papal election; four of the new cardinals are over that age and will not be eligible to vote.
With the new additions, the College of Cardinals now has 203 members, 121 of which are eligible to vote for a new Pope should the opportunity arise.
Among those receiving the cardinal’s “red hat,” are the 10 current Vatican Vatican officials:
Archbishop Angelo Amato (Italian), prefect of the congregation for the Causes of Saints;
Archbishop Robert Sarah (Guinean), president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which oversees the Vatican's charity activities;
Archbishop Velasio De Paolis (Italian), president of prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See;
Archbishop Fortunato Baldelli (Italian), of the Vatican’s Major Penitentiary;
Archbishop Paolo Sardi (Italian), of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta;
Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi (Italian), president of the Pontifical Council for Culture;
Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke (American), prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, a top Vatican tribunal;
Archbishop Kurt Koch (Swiss), president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity;
Archbishop Mauro Piacenza (Italian) prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.
The remaining new cardinals of voting age are:
Patriarch Antonios Naguib, (Egyptian), of Alexandria of the Copts, Egypt;
Archbishop Francesco Monterisi, (Italian), archpriest at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls;
Archbishop Medardo Joseph Mazombwe (Zambian) of Lusaka;
Archbishop Raul Eduardo Vela Chiriboga (Ecuadorian) of Quito;
Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya (Democratic Republic of Congo) of Kinshasa;
Archbishop Paolo Romeo (Italian) of Palermo, Italy;
Archbishop Donald William Wuerl (American) of Washington;
Archbishop Raymundo Damasceno Assis (Brazilian) of Aparecida;
Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz (Polish) of Warsaw;
Archbishop Albert Malcom Ranjith Patabendige Don (Sri Lankan) of Colombo;
Archbishop Reinhard Marx (German) of Munich and Freising.
Cardinals over 80 years old include:
Msgr. Jose' Manuel Estepa Llaurens (Spanish), military ordinary of Spain;
Msgr. Elio Sgreccia (Italian), president-emeritus of the Pontifical Academy of Life;
Msgr. Walter Brandmuller (German), president-emeritus of the Pontifical Commission of Historical Sciences;
Msgr. Domenico Bartolucci (Italian), former director of the Sistine Chapel Choir.
Cardinals are considered within the Church to be the Pope's closest advisors. All belong to the College of Cardinals, the body whose main function is to elect a new Pontiff. Cardinals under 80 years of age are allowed to vote in such an election, while those over 80 can serve only in the capacity of counselors. Traditionally, the number of voting-age cardinals is kept at 120, while the total number of cardinals -- including the non-voting cardinals -- has no specific limit.
This is to be the third time the Pope has called a consistory to create new cardinals. With the cardinals he has previously named in March 2006 and Nov. 2007, he has now named 62, or more than half, of the current College of Cardinals. The consistory will be held in the Sistine Chapel on the Feast of Christ the King, Nov. 20. Pope Benedict will concelebrate Mass with the new cardinals the following day at St. Peter's Basilica.