Feb 102011

by Anura Guruge

Drop in cardinal electors in the coming months by Anura Guruge

Drop in cardinal electors in the coming months

On February 06, 2011 when Filipino, Ricardo Jamin Vidal turned 80 there were a total of 119 cardinal electors, 69 created by John Paul II (#265) and 50 created by Benedict XVI (#266); i.e., 42% Benedict creations.

On February 12, 2011 when Spain’s Agustín Garcia-Gasco Vicente turns 80 there will be 118 cardinal electors, 69 created by John Paul II and 49 by Benedict XVI.

When Vidal turned 80 on February 6, the number of living cardinals created by John Paul II (from his epic, record-setting 231) became evenly split between electors and non-electors, 69 electors & 69 non-electors. When this was pointed out, some started talking about when the majority of electors would be those created by Benedict XVI. Well, anybody who was motivated enough could have started working this out using this list. In reality little, if anything, is likely to be impacted at the next conclave by having a John Paul II or Benedict XVI majority, due to two key reasons:

  1. Given that when it came to doctrine and the love for traditionalism there is very little that separates the two popes, one could persuasively argue that there can’t be that much difference in the fundamental outlook of the cardinals created by these two proudly conservative popes — though it is possible that Benedict might favor those even more to the ‘right’ than did his predecessor.
  2. Given the June 11, 2007 Benedict XVI amendment to John Paul II’s 1996 Universi Dominici Gregis, you always need, in all scenarios, including the run-offs, a two-thirds majority for a new pope to be elected. Hence, a simple majority, though a good start, isn’t enough to sway a papal election.

Barring a spate of unexpected deaths (or the even more improbable case of mass resignations (given that the last resignation was in 1927)) we will MOST LIKELY to have another cardinal creating consistory before Benedict creations become the majority in the papal electorate. A part of the reason being that some of the current Benedict electors are also going to be turning 80 in the near future … with the next elector to turn 80 indeed been a Benedict XVI creation. Also by November 23, 2012, just after the two year anniversary of the last cardinal creating consistory we will again be down to 99 (if not less) cardinal electors. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with having 99 or even 79 electors, there is this new belief that we need in excess of 110 electors to make a conclave legitimate — even though only 3 popes have been elected by electorates larger than 80.

So here are all the charts that you need. Enjoy. Notice that if there is no consistory, deaths or resignations it will be Spring 2014 before Benedict XVI’s electors become the majority.

cardinal elector cut over between John Paul II and Benedict XVI by Anura Guruge

cardinal electors statistics for last two popes by Anura Guruge

Look at the last 3 columns. That shows how the numbers change.

The aging of the cardinal electors by Anura Guruge

  4 Responses to “Benedict XVI Cardinal Electors – The Minority Until The Next Consistory”

  1. Did I say that … or did I say: ‘there is this new belief that we need in excess of 110 electors to make a conclave legitimate.’ Well, that was ALL THE CHATTER last year as to why we needed a consistory … the sky is falling down, the number of electors is way down. NOT WHAT I THINK.
    I would love to see LESS electors, less cardinals … less spending, less taxes. I would love to see a US Tea Party movement for the College of Cardinals.
    But, I only document.

  2. Did you see that DONATE button. That is for Green Bat Packer fans to show their appreciation in earthly terms.
    This morning I have another VISION. What we need is a NEW calendar. The Gregorian is so passee. It is half a millennium old. Time for the Benedictine calendar — where the pope can write off three years.

  3. I hope you STEELED yourself to look at the cardinal age stats I posted last night … based on this comment.
    That the popes have NOT reformed the calendar reflects very badly on them! [Those who are long term readers of this blog would remember how I told you that Mrs. B. (world’s first female PM) and my father came up with a Buddhist calendar for Ceylon which was used by 13 million people for a few years in the mid-1960s. If they, totally insignificant compared to popes, can come up with a new calendar why hasn’t the popes done something].
    This is not a Catholic, even Christian calendar! It is PAGAN. The holiest day of the week, the day that the Super Bowl is held, is named after the SUN GOD. Sun-Day. In the new Catholic calendar, all names should be exactly 4-characters long — to facilitate TEXTING, tweeting and MY Spread Sheets. We also need to do away with unnecessary letters that get in the way of TWEETS and TEXT like ‘ay’ — what are we, bleating Canadians that we have to bleat ‘ay’ after each Day. Just ‘D’ will do just fine – thank you.
    So, today’s Sunday should be named after the greatest pope of them all. So it would be: John-D.
    Formosus (#112) is one of my favorites. So I would like to see Form-D for Monday.
    It is time we honored some of the more obscure popes – though in reality all are luminaries, by definition.
    So what we should have is: John-D, Form-D, Corn-D, Sisi-D, Land-D, Deus-D & Milt-D.
    As for months, I can’t believe we have months like Mars, August and July. But, I will keep Mars, after the God of War, since we did have a few popes who liked that name. But, I will rename it Marc.
    I do NOT share your poor opinion of February. To all heterosexual, non-celibates, the 28-day Lunar cycle is very important — even etched in our minds. Though I am quite sure that you never needed them in any of your abodes, I know that Catholic households, around the world, still use those circular, 28-day, pop-the-day-out calendars kindly provided by caring pharmaceutical companies. So, I would like to see us go back to 28-day months. Yes, yes, I, as an amateur astronomer know all about the 365.24 days blah, blah, blah. Pope can have a word with God and get that fixed. We should have a shorter year. Maybe just 360 days .. like the number of degrees in a circle to highlight the perfection in a year. Plus, it would help create MORE jobs in the US! Less days to pay, so employers can hire more people.
    We will need a couple of 33 day months to balance everything. But, that is easy. The 33-day months should be named after the Smiling Pope, John Paul I, OF COURSE. But, to avoid confusion, by people calling the second 33-day month John Paul II, these two 33-day months, per our 4-CHAR rule, should be: ‘Albi’ & ‘Luci’ [no, no, no. Not ‘Lucy’].
    It gets better, OF COURSE. I see that despite YOUR legendary largess your diocese has or is shortly to go belly up. EASY. The pope can AUCTION the names for some of the new 28-day months to raise money for YOUR diocese. Just like the FCC auction for bandwidth. I am sure Pfizer will gladly give the Vatican US $50M/year to be able to name THIS MONTH, the month of earthly love, after their most popular drug … no, no, no, NOT Lipo! YOU could, using your resources, even get a month … called ‘Lomb’.
    Yes, calendar reform is long overdue. I, for one, am fed up having to live by a pagan calendar and pays no heed to the natural cycles of life. A new calendar will rejuvenate all … and even better raise money to bail out Milwaukee.
    Having worked on my father’s ‘P’ calendar in my youth, I know what needs to be done. Plus, now I have the technology and even a book with ALL the papal names. I am all set. The Pope only has to send me a TWEET and within 72 hours I can have a whole new CATHOLIC calendar up and ready for him.

  4. Philippines will be an unrepresented country in the sacred college when Cardinal Rosales will turn 80 next year. I suggest the Pope should name at least 2 Filipinos as cardinals in November or December this year or early next year. We all know that the representation of every country in the college has significance so I hope in the next consistory His Holiness will give Philippines, the largest Catholic Country in the entire Pacific, 2 cardinal.

    I may recommend Archbishop Angel Lagdameo of Jaro, Archbishop Jose Palma, successor of Cardinal Vidal in Cebu, and Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan- the former aide of then Jaime Cardinal Sin of Manila.

    God Bless the Church, God Bless the Filipino people.

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