New cardinals and major meeting scheduled for February
Pope to discuss reforms with all cardinals before consistory
Picture: Vatican Insider/La Stampa
French news agency I-Media has revealed that new cardinals are to be created in a Consistory which is to be held next 21 and 22 February. Pope Francis is to hold a meeting with all cardinals in Rome to discuss reforms with them.
As Vatican Insider wrote in a recent article, 120 cardinals eligible to vote according to the limit set by Paul VI. In February 2014 there will be 14 vacancies waiting to be filled by new cardinal electors below the age of 80 and this figure will rise to 16 at the end of March. So this is the number of cardinal electors Francis will be able to create.
In the Roman Curia there are three prelates who are cardinals but do not have the biretta: the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, Beniamino Stella and the new Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin. The leaders of a number of archdioceses (Turin and Venice in Italy) which traditionally produced a lot of cardinals have not been given the biretta. It is too early, however, to make any predictions.
In the next few months the Curia’s structures and organisation will be radically reshaped and the process of confirming and replacing members will be complete. It is not known for certain what criteria Francis will use when selecting the new cardinals.
On 19 and 20 February, two days before Francis names the new cardinals, he will be meeting cardinals in Rome for talks. By then, the eight-member Council in charge of looking into Curia reform will have met three times and it is possible that this is one of the things that will be discussed during the meeting. But a month or so after the consistory, another important meeting is due to take place: the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family. This is another element that could be discussed at February’s meeting.
Source: Vatican Insider/La Stampa
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