Surprise! The Pope is using political criteria to staff the College of Cardinals. Edward Pentin gives us the latest details:
Pope Francis unexpectedly named 13 new cardinals on Sunday, choices that have again revealed his wish for the Church to go out to the peripheries and the developing world.
But they also reveal Churchmen supportive of other issues close to his heart including open migration policies, concern for the environment and populism, a diplomatic rather than realist stance toward Islam, and sympathies for those supportive of homosexual issues.
“Their origin expresses the missionary vocation of the Church as she continues to proclaim the merciful love of God to every person on Earth,” the Pope said.
The new cardinals, 10 of whom will be eligible to vote in a conclave, will receive their red hat during a cardinal-making consistory on Oct. 5, the vigil of the Oct. 6-27 Amazonian Synod.
With Francis’ new choices, the number of cardinal electors will rise to 128, eight more than the number that was recommended by Paul VI (Pope St. John Paul II also on occasion exceeded the 120 limit), although the number is to swiftly decline in the coming months.
Three electors — Congo Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Italian Cardinal Edoardo Menichelli, and Indian Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo — are soon to lose their eligibility to vote as they turn 80 later in October, with others exceeding the voting age next year.
After the Oct. 5 cardinal-making consistory, which will be Francis’ sixth, the College of Cardinals will comprise 67 electors chosen by Francis, 42 created by Benedict XVI, and 19 by John Paul II.
The list of new cardinal electors, which the Holy Father nearly missed announcing after being stuck for 25 minutes in an elevator on his way to the Angelus, has further internationalized the College of Cardinals. But the choices also retain a European focus, comprising five Europeans as well as one from Asia, two from Africa, and two from Central America.
With the exception of Bologna, Francis continues to overlook other episcopal sees historically headed by a red hat — in Italy most notably the Patriarchate of Venice, Palermo and Turin, and in the United States, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
No U.S. cardinal was announced, and Francis hasn’t awarded an American a red hat since the consistory of November 2016, preferring instead to focus on Europe and promoting the presence of the global south. Perhaps more surprising was the absence of a Chinese cardinal, given the landmark Vatican-China agreement on episcopal appointments signed last September.
Go here to read the rest. For a Peronist Pope, none of this is surprising. The Pope can make all the Chiefs he wants; he can’t make Indians to follow them however.