Cardinals struck down by retirement

Source: FSSPX News


Pope John Paul II accepted the resignation of Cardinal Mario Francesco Pompedda, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, since he reached the age of mandatory retirement. The cardinal, who turned 75 on April 18th, was replaced in this position by Mgsr Agostino Vallini, until then bishop of Albano.

Other Roman cardinals will be 75 years old this year, the age at which they normally leave their posts: Francesco Marchisano, archpriest of the Basilica of St. Peter and vicar of Vatican City, and Dario Castrillon-Hoyos, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy and President of the Ecclesia Dei commission

However, three cardinals are currently 77 and are still working: Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, and Cardinal Edmund Szoka, President of the government of Vatican City.

Outside the Vatican, 12 septuagenarian cardinals remain at the head of their dioceses, for example, Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger of Paris (77) – rumor has it at the chancery that he will be replaced at the end of the year – and Cardinal Jozef Glemp, Archbishop of Warsaw (75 in December), both close to John-Paul II.

Six other cardinals are over 80. They can no longer vote in a conclave, but they still exercise their ministries, often in difficult countries like Vietnam (Cardinal Pham Dinh Tung, Archbishop of Hanoi), Lebanon (Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir, Patriarch of Lebanon), or Taiwan (Cardinal Shan Kuo Shi). The oldest among them is Cardinal Kazimierz Swiatek, who will be 90 in October of this year. He is still the Archbishop of Minsk in Byelorussia.

In 2004, the average age of curial cardinals is about 70, compared with 79 in 1969.