New cardinals named

New cardinals named

Pope John Paul named new cardinals today. There’s a massive power blackout in Rome today, but CWN managed to get a copy of the list.

Thirty were named, plus one held in pectore. That a case where the cardinal is selected, but the Pope doesn’t reveal his name because it could cause him some harm. It is usually done for a bishop living in a country where persecution of Christians is the norm, so I’m thinking it might be a bishop in the underground Church in China. The thing about it is that if the Pope dies before the situation changes and bishop could be named without repercussion, the honor dies with the Pope. He really doesn’t tell anyone else. (By the way, in pectore means “in the breast,” implying “kept close to the heart.”)

The only American on the list is Archbishop Rigali, who just succeeded Bevilacqua in Philadelphia. Archbishop O’Malley was overlooked, probably because Cardinal Law is still of voting age and the Vatican usually won’t have two cardinals from the same archdiocese able to vote in a conclave. Others named include Archbishop George Pell of Sydney, one of my favorite bishops.

1 comment
  • As Phil points out in Off the Record, the Pope asked Groer to resign from the College of Cardinals, thus preserving the precedent.

    As for the Chinese archbishop scenario, that can’t happen. The only person who knows the name in pectore is the Pope, not even the cardinal himself. The cardinal is only informed if the Pope decides to announce it after a situation changes, like when the Berlin Wall fell and JP2 announced several of the names.

    And if the Pope dies before announcing it, the name of the person dies with him. By definition no one can show up and say, “I’m the cardinal in pectore.