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Cardinal Paul Augustin Meyer of Germany, a curialist during much of his career, died on April 30, 2010, at the age of 98, twenty three days short of turning 99.
The prior loss of a cardinal took place just 14 days prior with the passing away of Cardinal Tomáš Špidlík, of Czechoslovakia. Cardinal Meyer was a Benedictine (the only one in the College ) while Cardinal Špidlík was a Jesuit.
The College of Cardinals, as of April 30, 2010, is now at 180 cardinals;
108 electors and 72 non-electors.
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Of the electors 55 are from Europe (19 from Italy) and 33 from ‘Americas’ (12 from the USA). Cardinal Mayer cased to be an elector way back in 1996. He never got to participate in a conclave though he was a cardinal for 25 years.
We have not had a cardinal-creating consistory since November 24, 2007. To be fair, that is not that unusual or incongruous.
It is unlikely that the pope will deem it proper to hold a cardinal-creating consistory within the next few months. But, as ever, I could be wrong. I would think that the pope needs to, by hook or by crook, get through this latest explosive chapter in the ever distressing clergy abuse tragedy. To create any cardinals right now may appear to be somewhat insensitive, but being ‘sensitive’ does seem an alien concept of late to the Vatican.
But, my hope is that the pope will wait until the dust, the allegations and lawsuits ‘settle’ down, somewhat. Right now, I am having trouble keeping track of the number of bishops that have resigned over the last 72 hours. Was it two, or was it three. I hope the Vatican is better an keeping track of these resignations than they are at updating the statistics of the College. Per the Vatican site, as of April 23, we have one more cardinal and three more electors than is the case.
Click <here> for my latest demographics of the College of Cardinals, with details on orders, professions, age, nationality etc.