Nov 022010

by Anura Guruge

Please also refer to this post for more background on Catholics worldwide.
Total cardinal and cardinal elector numbers used here include the 24 cardinal presumptives named
for the November 20, 2010 consistory.

This cardinal elector representation by country is something that interest ME at a purely personal level maybe because I have some egalitarian tendencies, and believe that ‘all pigs should be equal, though some make better chops than others.’

I fully understand, having written most words about this than most, that it is the total prerogative of a pope as to who he creates a cardinal. There has never been an official position that there will ever be equitable representation, all that John XXIII (#262), in 1958, stated, when he shattered Sixtus V’s (#228) ‘max 70‘ rule that had stood since 1586 was that he wanted more diversity. That we sure have as you can see from my second chart — a fragment of yet another Excel spreadsheet I have, this showing the demographics of the last 10 conclaves. To be honest I am surprised we don’t have more Polish and German cardinals. That Italy should have more is understandable given the history of the papacy — and the pope is THE Bishop of Rome. The over-representation of the USA is also easy understand and rationalize. US cardinals help keep the coffers topped-up — and from the very early days it was understood by all that cardinals were supposed to help with revenue generation. [Maybe the US cardinals should start wearing bright green.]

Anura Guruge cardinals by country

Histotric conclave data for cardinals by Anura Guruge the next pope expert

  5 Responses to “Cardinal Elector Representation For Top 20 Most Catholic Nations”

  1. Electors as of end 2012 without any new (unnanounced) appointments:
    Brazil,4(one aging out in 2013)
    Mexico,3(one aging out in 2013)
    United States,8
    Italy,23(two aging out in 2013)
    Argentina,2(one of them in the Curia)

  2. I understand that not all countries can have cardinals or cardinal electors. But I do hope that at least all top 20 countries in terns of catholic population would always have 3 cardinal electors at any given time.

  3. That would be allocating half the seats without allowing for any vacancies or ex-officio spots!

  4. There is an interesting book written by church scholar Phillip Jenkins called ‘The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity’ which devotes a chapter entirely to the future of the Catholic Church in the 21st century. No doubt the Global South will have greater influence. Alas the Church is not democratic no matter how we people wish it to be.

    Maybe they should do a survey among the laity and clergy in Developing Countries and ask.

    It is possible in future we may have a Latin American Pope, of European descent, re-evangelising secular Europe. This is my wish, but many in the College of Cardinals may still look up to European Cardinals from Europe.

  5. You said: ‘Alas the Church is not democratic no matter how we people wish it to be’


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