In El Salvador, Bishop José Gregorio Rosa Chavez, auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, is the first auxiliary bishop ever to be appointed a cardinal while the bishop in charge of his archdiocese remains but a bishop.
His red biretta may be considered a reward for his service to El Salvador in his more than 30 years as auxiliary bishop, especially during the difficult years of the 1980-1992 civil war.
In contrast to other cardinals-to-be, the red hat for Archbishop Juan José Omella Omella is not a dramatic departure from tradition, as Barcelona is traditionally a see with a cardinal. Archbishop Omella's predecessor, Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach, turned 80 on Apr. 29.
The announcement that Archbishop Omella will be created a cardinal comes only two days after the new presidency of the Spanish Bishops' Conference met with Pope Francis in a private audience in Rome.
The Spanish Bishops' Conference gathered for its general assembly in Madrid on March 15. Cardinal Ricardo Blázquez Pérez was re-elected as president for a second three-year mandate by a strong majority. Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, archbishop of Valencia and former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, was elected vice-president.
In the race for the presidency, Cardinal Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid, got four votes, while Archbishop Omella got just one vote.
By naming Archbishop Omella a cardinal, the Pope might want to show the Spanish Bishops' Conference the men in whom he places his trust. The two Spaniards, Cardinal Osoro Sierra, appointed by Pope Francis as Archbishop of Madrid, and Archbishop Omella will have gotten their red hats in back to back consistories only seven months apart.
All of the new cardinals are below 80, so they all have the right to vote in a conclave to elect a Pope. Sweden's Bishop Anders Arborelius is the youngest, as he will turn 68 in September, while Bishop Rosa is the oldest, about to turn 75.
In the last consistory, 13 out of 17 new red hats were given to bishops or archbishops below the age of 80.
Church rules set the maximum number of cardinal electors in a conclave at 120.
With the five new cardinals, Pope Francis has the increased the number of voting cardinals to 121, exceeding the limit by one.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
The five new cardinals also slightly re-shape the composition of the College of Cardinals. After the June 28 consistory, Europe will be represented by 53 voting cardinals, compared with 51 at present. Central America's voting cardinals will increase to five from four. Africa and Asia combined will have 15 cardinals in a prospective conclave, an increase of one.
Other regions' number of cardinal electors is unchanged: North America still has 17 voting cardinals, South America has 12, and Oceania four.
Up to now, Pope Francis has created 61 cardinals: 49 voting cardinals, and 12 non-voting. The college of voting cardinals is completed by 52 cardinals created by Benedict XVI, and 20 by St. John Paul II.