Not only is a consistory imminent, but its announcement will come next month according to “Vaticanista” Marco Tosatti. Reporting for the Italian daily La Stampa, the analyst offered a look at who might be included among the 19 likely candidates for being honored as a cardinal at a November election.
The hypothesis of a consistory becomes ever more valid as the number of cardinal-electors, those under 80 years of age and therefore eligible to vote in a papal conclave, approaches the century mark. With the traditional number of voting-age members of the College of Cardinals being 120, there is considerable space for new cardinals.
Many have ventured guesses recently as to when the consistory might come about, but the insider Tosatti goes even farther by pinpointing the likely date of the Pope's announcement. He wrote on Saturday that Benedict XVI “will announce” a consistory during the Synod for the Middle East and added that it “could” come out at the general audience on Oct. 20. The Special Assembly will take place in Rome from Oct. 10-24.
The announcement is generally made by the Pope after the Angelus or the general audience, and tradition dictates that the College of Cardinals convenes for the election a month afterwards.
The last consistory was announced on Oct. 17, 2007 and took place on Nov. 24 of that same year. The Pope included the names of the eventual cardinals in his original October announcement.
Explaining that “at least” 19 posts will be available to meet the 120-voter limit by January, the La Stampa journalist went on to name several of those who will likely receive the “red hats.”
He said with certainty that four dicastery heads of the Roman Curia will be elected including Archbishops Angelo Amato from the council for saints' causes, Raymond Leo Burke of the Apostolic Signatura, Kurt Koch from ecumenical relations and Gianfranco Ravasi of culture.
Additionally, the Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-walls, the head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and heads of two Italian archdioceses are likely choices.
For North America, he predicted the nominations of Archbishops Donald Wuerl, Washington D.C., and Thomas Collins, Toronto. Archbishop Wuerl was also among those predicted to be created a cardinal in 2007.
In Europe, the Archbishops of Munich, Warsaw, Toledo, Westminster, Utrecht, and Mechelen-Brussels, made Tosatti's shortlist.
In addition, he called for three in Asia, one each for Sri Lanka, China and Japan; three for Africa, in Congo, Cameroon and Uganda, and at least two for South America, one each in Uruguay and Brazil.