Benedict XVI to create 15 new cardinals on March 24.

Source: FSSPX News

On March 24, the vigil of the Annunciation, pope Benedict XVI will create 15 new cardinals. This was officially announced during the general audience of February 22. Only twelve of them will belong to the electoral college, the remaining three being over eighty years old.

The pope expressed his wish to respect the number of 120 electors set by Paul VI. At the close of the audience in the Paul VI Hall, having announced the consistory of March 24, and reiterated the mission of the Cardinal, Benedict XVI read out the names of the fifteen new princes of the Church. Three of them are heads of dicasteries : the American Bishop William Joseph Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the doctrine of the Faith , the Slovenian Bishop Franc Rodé, Prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and the Italian Bishop Agostino Vallini, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature. One of the new elector cardinals is a Frenchman, Archbishop Jean-Pierre Ricard of Bordeaux and president of the French Bishops’ Conference. The other eight cardinals under eighty are archbishops and bishops of capital cities, most of which are traditionally considered as Sees to which a cardinalate is attached : the Venezuelan Archbishop Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino of Caracas, the Filippino Archbishop Gaudencio B. Rosales of Manila, the Spanish Archbishop Antonion Canizares Llovera of Toledo, the Korean Archbishop Nicolas Cheong-Jin-Suk of Seoul, the American Archbishop Sean Patrick O’Malleyof Boston, the Polish Archbishop Stanislas Dziwisz of Cracow, the Italian Archbishop Carlo Caffarra of Bologna and the Chinese Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun,  of Hong Kong.

 Lastly, Benedict XVI expressed a wish to thank three octogenarian clergymen for their service to the Church by giving them the red hat. They are the Italian Archpriest of the patriarchal Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, Mgr. Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo; the archbishop emeritus of Tamale in Ghana, Archbishop Peter Poreku Dery; and lastly the French Jesuit Albert Vanhoye, former Rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute and secretary of the Pontifical Bible Commission.

 Benedict XVI explained that the consistory would take place in three stages. On March 23, at the Vatican, the pope will meet the world’s 178 cardinals, for reflection and prayer. The following day, the new Cardinals will take the oath and receive the red hat from the hands of Benedict XVI. On March 25, the feast of the Annunciation, the pope will concelebrate Mass with the new Cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica.

 Some names had been mentioned which did not appear on the list of new cardinals. Bishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary of the Holy See for Relations with States and Bishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute of the Secretariate of State, might both, according to Vatican specialists be placed at the head of a Roman Dicastery, - in fact, several Prefects have reached the age limit and are due to be replaced. Mgr. Fortunato Baldelli, the current Nuncio in Paris could succeed either Bishop Lajolo or Bishop Sandri. The pope, who thinks highly of him granted him, exceptionally, a private audience on February 16 last. It is even said that he might replace Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State of the Holy See, who may soon leave, according to some observers.