Pope Benedict today announced the consistory for March 24 and named 15 new cardinals. Among them are Archbishop Sean O’Malley of Boston, about whom sources in Boston were saying he wouldn’t get it as late as yesterday.
The rest of the list was as expected. Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow and Archbishop William Levada of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith were locks. Other significant selections include Bishop Joseph Zen of Hong Kong, which is sure to have a significant impact on relations with China; Zen has been outspoken about freedom for mainland Catholics.
Two other Asians are Archbishops Nicolas Cheong Jin Suk of Seoul and Gaudencio Rosales of Manila. No surprises there; their predecessors were cardinals. Asia now has 20 cardinals, the same as North America.
A couple of expected announcements did not come. Archbishop Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris was considered a lock. Instead the lone French red hat went to Archbishop Jean-Pierre Ricard of Bordeaux, president of the French bishops’ conference. Neither was Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin named.
The other curial cardinals are Archbishop Franc Rode of the Congregation for Religious and Archbishop Agostino Vallini of the Supreme tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.
The other archdiocesan cardinals are Archbishops Carlos Caffarra of Bologna; Antonio Canizares Llovera of Toledo, Spain; and Jorge Liberato Ursa Savino of Caracas, Venezuela.
The three “honorary” titles for those who are not now active bishops and who are over 80 and thus ineligible to vote in a conclave are for Archbishop Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, the archpriest of the Roman basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls, a veteran Vatican diplomat and member of a noted Italian family; Archbishop Peter Poreku Dery, the retired Archbishop of Tamale, Ghana, who is 87; Father Albert Vanhoye, the French Jesuit who was rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institue and secretary to the Pontifical Biblical Commision.
This is not necessarily a closed list. If major changes happen in the curia or for the heads of certain dioceses between now and March 24, the names can be added.
Interesting that the consistory is scheduled for March 24. The next day is a solemnity, the Feast of the Annunciation, which means that the traditional day of celebration following the consistory can still take place, even though it will be Lent.