The columns denote: Cardinal Electors, Cardinal Non-Electors (i.e., over 80) & TOTAL.
Got this from an e-mail from Louis Epstein, College of Cardinals watcher and my collaborator on many papal topics: “I note that with Cardinal Rouco Varela’s age-out last week Benedict XVI cardinals are again a majority of the electors (56-55) and will stay so through a possible February consistory date(no Benedict cardinal ages out before February and two JP II cardinals age out in October alone)”. [Louis and I differ on when the next cardinal creating consistory might be — as I discussed in this post. Louis is holding out for February 2017 while I think that there is a chance (a small one possibly) that we could get one in November 2016.
I personally do not think the Benedict ’56’ majority is significant in any way. The John Paul II and Benedict XVI cardinals are all from the SAME CLOTH and as such mindset and ideology. Between them we have 80 electors, i.e., 72% — 6% over the two-thirds majority required to elect a new pope. Plus I am sure MOST of the Francis electors will vote with the old guard to elect a new pope who is far different in temperament and mentality to the current pope.
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