Tag Archives: cardinal creating consistory

The 13 Cardinals To Be Created, By Pope Francis, At The November 28, 2020, Consistory — By Br. César J. Tobón, L.C.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


Another incomparably informative & beautiful consistory graphic by the remarkably talented & devout Br. César J. Tobón of Colombia who has provided us with a similar, and much appreciated, graphics ahead of other cardinal creating consistories and whenever there has been major changes to the Roman curia. His beautiful work is always a joy to behold and an honor to present.


Here is a link to the official Vatican announcement. That will help with the names and titles:

From the Vatican announcement. Click to ENLARGE & study.


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by Anura Guruge

The 13 Cardinal Designates, Announced By Pope Francis, For The October 5, 2019 Consistory — By Br. César J. Tobón, L.C.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE — this the English version. Spanish version below. The three over-80, non-electors from the start, cardinals at the bottom.


Click to ENLARGE — Spanish version.


Another incomparably well-designed new-cardinal graphic by Br. César J. Tobón of Colombia who has provided us with a similar, and much appreciated, graphics ahead of other cardinal creating consistories and whenever there has been major changes to the Roman curia. His beautiful work is always a joy to behold and an honor to present.


Here is a link to the official Vatican announcement. That will help with the names and titles:


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by Anura Guruge

Pope Francis In Creating New Cardinals On October 5, 2019, Will AGAIN Disregard Conclave Requirements.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


Click image to access post.


The issue here is, per Vatican Law, enacted in 1973, the MAXIMUM number of cardinal electors that can participate in a conclave is 120.

None of the 4 popes since that law was passed, viz., John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI & Francis, have changed that Law — though three of them (i.e., the latter 3) have at one time or another created too many electors such that there numbers exceeded 120.

If there were to be a conclave when the elector count is above 120 there could be problems.

There are no guidelines nor precedents for sorting it out. It would be ‘unruly’ and ‘unbecoming’.

As the top figure shows Francis, at each of his six consistories, has exceeded that 120 limit.

John Paul II nor Benedict XVI were never so egregious — i.e., violate the 120 limit at each of their cardinal-creating consistories.

But, no so Francis. He really thinks he is special. A maverick. That it makes him look cool to disregard the Laws!

Yes, I will concede that 4 current electors will AGE-OUT (i.e., reach 80 and thus become non-electors) within 10-days of this consistory. But, that still leaves 4 OVER the count. Barring deaths there will NOT be another aging-out until February 25, 2020, and the next after that is on April 17, 2020. Even after that, barring deaths, we will still be 2 over the 120. That is over 7 months.

This is not good.

Francis can fix this with a simple memo. Yep. He is all powerful when it comes to Church Laws. He can remove the 120 limit all together or increase it. But, he hasn’t.

Not good. Unbecoming.

Also, worth remembering. On Sunday, on his way to announce this consistory, Francis got stuck in an elevator for 25-minutes. Not a good omen.


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by Anura Guruge

The 14 Cardinal Designates, Announced By Pope Francis, For The June 29, 2018 Consistory — By Br. César J. Tobón, L.C.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE — original Spanish version. See below for English.


Click to ENLARGE — original English version


Another incomparably well-designed new-cardinal graphic by Br. César J. Tobón of Mexico who has provided us with a similar, and much appreciated, graphics ahead of other cardinal creating consistories and whenever there has been major changes to the Roman curia. His beautiful work is always a joy to behold and an honor to present.


Here is a segment of the translated, official Vatican announcement. That will help with the names and titles:

Click to ENLARGE. Use link below for the Vatican original.

Click here for the Vatican original.


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by Anura Guruge

Following Cardinal Caffarra’s Death Today, Cardinal Electors Down To The Legit 120.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


Click to access the original at the “National Catholic Reporter” (NCR).


Following Pope Francis’ very unusual cardinal creating consistory of June 28, 2017, where he created 5 new Cardinal Electors, there were 121 Cardinal Electors.

That was one more that the 120 Cardinal Electors currently permitted by Papal Decree from participating in a conclave.

I have always been against pope’s exceeding this 121 limit for a very good reason. It would create an unprecedented situation if a conclave had to be held unexpectedly (following a sudden death) and before the deceased pope got around to doing something about increasing the 120 limit.

What was real strange about this 121 figure was that there were NO upcoming 80th birthdays until February 3, 2018. That meant we would have gone for an unprecedented (again) 220 days (i.e., 7 months) with the cardinal elector level above 120 — UNLESS a cardinal, under 80-years of age, were to die. And I am always careful to specify that — i.e., barring deaths. I had wondered if there were any under-80 cardinals who were known to be on their last legs. There appeared not to be any.

And then, 70-days after the consistory, 79-year old Italian Cardinal, Carlo Caffarra dies. All the reports say SUDDENLY — but they also add that “after a long illness“. So, what is the story. Did Francis know that Caffarra would die within 90-days? The pope, in theory, does have some very good contacts high up.

Ironically, Caffarra was one of 4 of his MOST ARDENT critics. But another died in July 2017 and now Caffarra. So, 2 of the 4 have died! Coincidence? {Smile}


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by Anura Guruge

Tale of Two Papacies: Benedict XVI vs John XXIII.

by Anura Guruge


Pope Benedict XVI versus Pope John XXIII two papacies Anura Guruge


Originally Posted on my ‘Popes-and-Papacy‘ blog on August 19, 2010 (i.e., 7-years ago).


Pope Benedict XVI (#266) turned 83 on April 16, 2010.

Three days later, i.e., April 19, was his fifth anniversary as pope.

He was the fifth oldest of the popes, since 1400, when elected. He is already the tenth oldest pope, albeit, as of 1400. There were three, post 1400 popes, who died shortly after turning 83. Thus, come mid-July 2010 he could be the seventh oldest. [Dates prior to 1400 are unavailable or unreliable.]

His mentor, John Paul II (#265), who died at 84, is currently the sixth oldest.

Bl. John XXIII (#262) became pope when he was 76. He was the sixth oldest to be elected since 1400.

John XXIII was pope for 1,679 days [4 years and 7 months].

Benedict XVI on his fifth anniversary had been pope for 1,826 days.

Bl. John XXIII, An Object Lesson In Vision, Drive & Efficacy
By all accounts Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli had no inclination that he may become pope until a few days prior to the start of the 1958 conclave. That he had bought a return railway ticket when he left Venice for Rome is well documented. It is also noted that he told some people in Rome to meet with him once he was back in Venice. He had left his walking shoes at the ‘Domus Mariae’ [the headquarters of the Women’s Catholic Action in Rome], his assigned quarters prior to the conclave, when he entered the Apostolic Palace for the conclave. It is documented that he sent his personal secretary Guido Gusso to pick up these shoes before he made his first public appearance on the central balcony of St. Peter’s.

However, once pope, John XXIII was driven.

John XXIII

  • 89 days into his papacy announced his intentions to convene Vatican II, the first ecumenical council since Vatican I, 90 years earlier. Vatican II changed the complexion of the modern Church.
  • 48 days into his papacy he held his first cardinal creating consistory. He created 23 cardinals so that the College was 74 strong. At a stroke he had overridden Sixtus V’s (#228) edict that had limited the size of the College to 70 – way back in 1586.
  • Increased the size of the College to 90 – a 29% increase above the limit set by Sixtus V.
  • Held 5 cardinal creating consistories, and created 52 cardinals – holding a consistory, on average every 298 days.
  • 1,444 days into his papacy he open Vatican II with at least 2,000 bishops in attendance.
  • Altered the jus optionis precedence rules as to whether the senior most cardinal could ask to be made a Cardinal Bishop. He also issued a motu proprio in 1962 confirming that the titles of the Cardinal Bishops were strictly titular.

The bottom line is that Bl. John XXIII’s pontificate was shorter than of the current pope. But, he didn’t waste any time. He had a vision and an agenda.

<< To be continued. You can draw your conclusions in the meantime. >>

Benedict XV (#259) was pope for 7 years and 4 months between 1914 and 1922. That is the next milestone for this pope. Other than for the unfortunately fleeting 33-day papacy of John Paul I (#264) ‘recent’ popes have enjoyed ‘long’ pontificates. Other than for that of John Paul I, John XXIII’s was the shortest in the twentieth century. After that it was that of Benedict XV. St. Pius X (#258) reigned for 11 years. That is the next longest.

One cannot equate popes to other mortals! Popes enjoy a unique standing on earth. I personally, and I could be wrong, don’t think popes worry too much about their legacy. That they were pope is all that matters. The same applies to credibility. They are only concerned about their credibility with the ONLY ONE, supposedly, that can judge them. So, it is futile to say that John XXIII’s achievements during his 1,679 day pontificate casts a shadow over that of Benedict XVI. But, it is something to think about.


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by Anura Guruge

Pope Francis’ June 28, 2017 Cardinal Creating Consistory: What Makes It Unusual.

by Anura Guruge



There are a number of things that make this consistory stand-out from the last 17 spanning 38 years.

So let’s look at what makes this consistory somewhat unusual, and as such, special.

  1. It is the SMALLEST consistory, in terms of cardinals being created, since Paul VI’s last one in 1977 when only four cardinals were created — but Paul VI, who instituted both the 120 elector limit and the 80-year ‘cut-off’, never exceeded the 120 limit or created any cardinals who were over 80. Benedict XVI, in his last cardinal creating consistory in November 2012, three-months ahead of his resignation, created 6 cardinals — that being the maximum he could create if he were not to exceed the 120-limit.
  2. The first consistory since March 2006 NOT to be held on a Saturday — the last 7 consistories, four of Benedict XVI’s and three of Francis’ all being Saturday consistories with the celebratory Mass being held on Sunday.
    ….
  3. The first consistory, since John Paul II’s 8th consistory on February 21, 2001 to be held on a Wednesday.
    ….
  4. The first consistory since 1991 to be held on June 28. There is a significance to June 28th. The ‘Feast of Saints Peter and Paul‘, Rome’s two founding Apostles, falls, each year, on June 29. So, by having the consistory on June 28, the Vatican can have the celebratory Mass on this special Feast day. This, as such, is thus a ‘Feast of Saints Peter and Paul‘ consistory. John Paul II was found of such consistories. His 1988 cardinal creating consistory, the one before the 1991 one, was also a June 28 affair. His first ever was on June 30, the day after the feast. Paul VI held two consistories very close to this feast.
    ….
  5. Will create the first ever cardinals from first cardinals from El SalvadorLaosMali, and Sweden — as well as the from all of Scandinavia! That is pretty impressive.
    ….
  6. Bishop José Gregorio Rosa Chávez, auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, El Salvador will become the FIRST AUXILIARY BISHOP to be created a cardinal!His superior the Titular Bishop of San Salvador, El Salvador is NOT a cardinal.
    ….
  7. First of Francis’ consistories not to create a curial cardinal. (This was also true of Benedict XVI’s last consistory).
    ….
  8. First of Francis’ consistories not to create an over-80, non-elector cardinal. (This was also true of Benedict XVI’s last consistory). This is incongruous. There are no limits as to the non-electors and he could have created as many as he wanted.
    ….
  9. Barring deaths, there will be 121 cardinal electors following this consistory — and that number will not drop to the CONCLAVE-VALID 120 till February 2018. This would indicate, unless the Pope is aware of a very ill under-80 cardinal, that the Pope does not foresee a conclave ahead of February 2018.After Francis’ 1st cardinal creating consistory there were 122 electors; 125 after the 2nd and 121 after the 3rd. So he has always gone over the 120 limit.….

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by Anura Guruge

Ahead Of Pope Francis’ June 28, 2017 Cardinal Creating Consistory — A List Of All 61 Prior Consistories Since 1900.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.



I had let this very informative Cardinal Creating Consistory Excel spreadsheet lapse after Pope Benedict XVI’s last in November 2012. That it was out-of-date always bothered me. So, I rectified that over the last few days. I also rationalized and simplified it. There is more work required BUT this is good start for this version.

I wanted to share it with you. Shows some interesting trends.

I plan to do more posts specific to the upcoming June 28, 2017 consistory over the next few days. So, stay tuned.


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by Anura Guruge

Is the June 28, 2017 Cardinal Creating Consistory To Be Pope Francis’ Last — Before He Resigns?

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


This, by any standard, was a surprise, ‘snap’ announcement of a consistory. There was no need for one at this time — in that the cardinal-electors at 97% of full.

That he announced 5 and just 5 is intriguing.

As the graphic above clearly shows, barring any deaths, this means that there will be 121 electors until early February 2018.

IF there were to be a conclave prior to that having 121 cardinal electors would be a problem — as I have discussed many, many times.

The last time we had such a small number of cardinals created was in November 2012 — three months ahead of Benedict XVI announcing his resignation!

I have a feeling that there is SOME significance to this consistory.

Many things are strange and different! More on that soon.


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by Anura Guruge

The 5 Cardinal Designates, Announced By Pope Francis, For The June 28, 2017 Consistory — By Br. César J. Tobón, L.C.

by Anura Guruge



Another masterful new-cardinal graphic by Br. César J. Tobón of Mexico who has provided us with a similar, and much appreciated, graphics ahead of other cardinal creating consistories and whenever there has been major changes to the Roman curia. His beautiful work is always a joy to behold and an honor to present.

This was a cardinal creating consistory announcement out-of-the blue. Many unusual features and I will do a post on them.

Though this graphic is in Spanish it should be easy enough to decipher.

The five designated cardinals are:

Jean Zerbo, Archbishop of Bamako, Mali.

Juan Josè Omella Omella, Archbishop of Barcelona, Spain.

Anders Arborelius, O.C.D., Bishop of Stockholm, Sweden.

Loius Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, of the Institute Voluntas Dei, Titular Bishop of Acque Nuove di Proconsulare, Apostolic Vicar of Paské, Laos.

Gregorio Rosa Chávez, Titular Bishop of Mulli, auxiliary of San Salvador, El Salvador.


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by Anura Guruge