The death of Cardinal Sergio Obeso Rivera, Archbishop Emeritus of Xalapa, Mexico, on August 12, 2019, and the age limit reached by Cardinal Sean Baptist Brady, Archbishop Emeritus of Armagh, has modified the composition of the Sacred College. Here is an occasion to look a little closer at the assembly to which falls the mission of appointing the successor of Peter, in case of the vacancy of the Apostolic See.
Since the death of the Mexican porporato, the College of Cardinals has 216 members, which can be subdivided into three equal groups of 72, if we consider the three pontificates—John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis—during which the high prelates received their red hats.
As of August 16, 2019, the Sacred College has 118 cardinal electors, aged less than 80 years old. Logically, most were created by Pope Francis: 57, against 43 by Benedict XVI, and 19 by John Paul II.
98 cardinals belong to the group of non-electors, which, in theory, does not prevent them from being eligible for the sovereign pontificate. The latest to reach the age of 80 is Sean Baptist Brady, Archbishop Emeritus of Armagh, Ireland, on August 16, 2019.
The last consistory in which the Holy Father created Cardinals, dates from June 28, 2018. On that occasion, 14 new members were added to the Sacred College, including eleven electors and three non-electors.
Since the beginning of 2019, eight cardinals have been called to God. Short of new deaths, by the end of the year, four porporati will reach the age of 80 and join the group of non-electors: Telesphore Placidus Toppo, Edoardo Menichelli, Zenon Grocholewski, and Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya.