The Pope also approved the election of Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, the retired president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum,” as vice dean of the college, the Vatican press office said Saturday.
The College of Cardinals is divided in three orders: episcopal, presbyterial and diaconal.
Pope Paul VI established that the dean be chosen among the six cardinal bishops.
Currently, these cardinals are, in addition to Cardinals Sodano and Etchegaray, Alfonso López Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family; Bernardin Gantin, retired prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; and Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.
The cardinals had met to elect a new dean, to replace Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI), and the vice dean.