VATICAN CITY, FEB. 22, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI has named 15 new cardinals, including prelates from Boston, Hong Kong and Krakow, Poland.
The new cardinals will be installed at a consistory March 24, the first of this pontificate.
The Pope indicated that he wanted to respect the maximum number of 120 cardinal electors — those under age 80 who could vote in a conclave for a new pope — established by Paul VI in 1973. Thus, only 12 of the new cardinals will be electors.
The other three cardinals announced, who are older than 80, have been named, according to the Holy Father, “in consideration of the service they have rendered to the Church with exemplary faithfulness and admirable dedication.”
Three of the future cardinals belong to the Roman Curia and hold offices that ordinarily imply the dignity of cardinal.
— U.S. Archbishop William Levada, 69, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;
— Slovenian Archbishop Franc Rodé, 71, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life; and
— Italian Archbishop Agostino Vallini, 65, prefect of the Apostolic Signature, the Church’s supreme court.
The other nine future cardinal electors are pastors of key archdioceses. The variety of their origins, as the Pope pointed out, “reflects the universality of the Church.”
Four are Europeans: Archbishops Jean-Pierre Ricard, 61, of Bordeaux, France; Antonio Cañizares Llovera, 60, of Todedo, Spain; Stanislaw Dziwisz, 66, former secretary of Pope John Paul II, of Krakow, Poland; and Carlo Caffarra, 67, of Bologna, Italy.
Three future cardinals are from Asia: Archbishops Gaudencio Rosales, 73, of Manila, Philippines, and Cheong Jin-Suk, 74, of Seoul, South Korea; and Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, 74, of Hong Kong.
Two of the future cardinals lead archdioceses in the Americas: Archbishops Sean Patrick O’Malley, 61, of Boston, Massachusetts, and Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, 63, of Caracas, Venezuela.
The Pope named an over-80 cardinal from Africa: retired Archbishop Peter Poreku Dery, 87, of Tamale, Ghana.
Archpriest and a Jesuit
The other over-80 non-electors have different origins.
One is Italian Archbishop Andrea Cordero Lanza Di Montezemolo, 80, archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. He was previously apostolate delegate in Jerusalem and apostolic nuncio in Italy.
The other is Jesuit Father Albert Vanhoye, a theologian who was formerly the rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute and secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. On the latter he worked closely with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Benedict XVI explained that he chose the liturgical feast of the Chair of St. Peter to make this announcement “because cardinals have the duty to help and support Peter’s Successor in carrying out the apostolic task entrusted to him in the service of the Church.”
In fact, Benedict XVI recalled that in ancient ecclesiastical documents Popes described the College of Cardinals as “part of our body.”
Cardinals, he added, “constitute a sort of senate around the Pope upon which he relies in carrying out the duties associated with his ministry as ‘permanent and visible source and foundation of unity of faith and communion.'”