Cardinal Silvestrini Celebrates 80th Birthday

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 26, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The number of elector cardinals decreased to 134 with the 80th birthday of Cardinal Achille Silvestrini.

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Cardinal Silvestrini, prefect emeritus of the Vatican Congregation for the Oriental Churches, celebrated his birthday on Saturday.

Three other cardinals will be 80 before the end of the year. Therefore, according to the norm established by Paul VI, they will not be able to take part in a possible conclave. The three are Cardinal Pio Taofinu of Samoa; Cardinal Edward Clancy of Australia, and Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-hsi of Taiwan.

In February, three more cardinals will be 80, thus reducing the number of electors at that time to 127. On October 21, John Paul II created 30 new cardinals — as well as one “in pectore” (in secret). Twenty-six of them are less than 80 years of age.

Including Cardinal Silvestrini, at present there are 60 cardinals who are 80 years or older.

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