It seems there’s some confusion on other blogs about why Archbishop Sean O’Malley of Boston was not made a cardinal. They wonder if it’s some slap at Boston because of the Scandal or a sign that O’Malley’s leaving Boston soon or that O’Malley refused out of Franciscan humility. The simple fact is that there is a precedent that you don’t have two sitting cardinals from the same city of voting age. Cardinal Law is only 72 and is thus can still vote in a papal conclave for eight more years. Yes, Cardinal Bevilacqua, now retired, and Archbishop Rigali are both of Philadelphia, but Bevilacqua is now 80 years old and can’t vote in a conclave.
A few years ago, Archbishop Christoph Schoenborn of Vienna, Austria, was named a cardinal while his predecessor Cardinal Hans Groer was still under 80. Groer had resigned from his archdiocese under a cloud after credible evidence showed he has sexually abused a young man. But that still didn’t break the precedent since Pope John Paul asked Groer to resign from the College of Cardinals as well, thus depriving him of his vote.