Mar 242011

by Anura Guruge

Following my two recent posts on the trends related to the death of cardinals it was inevitable that I was asked as to the trends related to when cardinals die. The good news is that contemporary cardinals enjoy exceptional longevity, way above the current life expectancy for the U.S. (78.4 years) and that for the world (67.2).

We haven’t had a cardinal elector die since April 19, 2008. That was Colombian Cardinal Bishop Alfonso López Trujillo, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, at the age of 72 years and 5 months. (Thanks Mike for helping me get the date right.)

During the 10 year period, 2001 to 2010, only 15 cardinal electors have passed away.

life expectancy of cardinals by Anura Guruge

statistics on how old cardinals are when they die by Anura Guruge

  23 Responses to “Life Expectancy Of Contemporary Cardinals, the Decade 2001 to 2010”

  1. Louis Epstein has pointed out that Cardinal da Costa was at least 102 when he died in 1508. Not sure if he is the oldest. Need to check.

  2. Some of you may find this of interest, list of the oldest Catholic bishops. Not sure how accurate or up to date it is. It is Wikipedia.

  3. Louis,
    Many thanks.
    I think I fixed the two URLs per your follow-on comments. I then deleted those since they didn’t serve a purpose after I made the correction. I will check the links after I respond … now.
    Catholic-Hierarchy is QUITE a resource. Sadly I do not sue it as much as I should — mainly given that my focus is popes (and cardinals). So I invariably start with Salvador. I am also very partial to Gabriel’s GCatholic (partly because he, like Salvador, is very helpful). But, for ages YOU can’t beat C-H. I have also noted that ‘he’ is very accurate.
    Thanks. I will publish your list soon. Backlog of stuff … here. Wife also wants me to clean the floors since she is still recovering from her back surgery 5.5 weeks ago.

  4. As far as non-cardinal bishops go,it looks like the documented longevity record of Edward Howard,Archbishop of Portland in Oregon (actually the see was still named “Oregon City” when he took possession) is under threat…he was born in 1877 and died in 1983.The retired Vietnamese bishop at the top of the lists apparently lives in France,the Korean (P’yongyang of course is really in North and not South Korea,but David Cheney follows some odd conventions in assigning nations) has been missing since the Korean War but is not officially “dead” to the Annuario…though not on the Wikipedia list.

  5. The ten (respectively eleven) oldest cardinals 2001-2011 (per March 25, 2011)

    1. Corrado Bafile (* July 4,1903, + Feb 3, 2005)
    2. Augustin Mayer OSB (* May 23, 1911, + April 30, 2010)
    3. Franz König (* August 3, 1905, + March 13, 2004)
    4. Alfons Stickler SDB (* August 23, 1910, + December 12, 2007)
    5. Johannes Willebrands (* September 4, 1909, + August 2, 2006)
    6. Ersilio Tonini (* July 20, 1914)
    7. Adam Kozlowiecki SJ (* April 1, 1911, + September 28, 2007)
    8. Kazimierz Swiatek (* October 21, 1914)
    9. Corrado Ursi (* July 26, 1908, + August 29, 2003)
    10. Fiorenzo Angelini (* August 1, 1916) and
    Louis Albert Vachon (* February 4, 1912, + September 29, 2006)

  6. So how do we factor THIS in … I gather the results came in today … CNN etc. covered it. Hhhmmm. When I went to ‘Destination Imagination’ last Saturday, the thing that struck me the MOST of how obese the D.I. judges and staff were. It was not a good example to the kids. I, per my wont, e-mailed them the next day and said that ‘we’ had to address this issue before next year.

  7. I have a chart of who has been the oldest cardinal,continuous since the late 19th century,discontinuous since Belloy(1709-1808),but somewhere in the middle a man was named cardinal when older than any sitting cardinal,which made the exercise seem superfluous.
    One or two priests have reached 110,a nun died at 114 as world’s oldest person not long ago and others have died at 112 and 113.

  8. Louis,
    I am working on YOUR ‘most senior’ [i.e., doyen] of College list right now. Let me get that done. YOU have 3 e-mails to respond to re. that list. Please address those while I go to another birthday party. It is a hard life that I lead.
    Then we can do oldest.
    I remember that your YOUNGEST list caused more confusion than edification. But, I am always good for a try (and a laugh). So lets do … one at a time.
    Thanks. Cheers.

  9. Father,
    I was kind of WAITING for Louis to jump on this (given that I do know most of you quite well … by now).
    And SURE ENOUGH … Louis did jump.
    Your list is good. Not sure how it stacks up with Louis’ list. I think he uses a different metric … oldest at any one time. Might be a difference.
    Father, do YOU have Windows 7 on your PC … PCs. Windows 7 has a GREAT calculator that calculates ages … going back to 1600.
    Would be nice if we also had the exact age when they died. I can do it.
    Father, I sent you an e-mail YESTERDAY asking whether you got the 3 books I sent. If not, I will order one again and sent it this time via FedEx. If you didn’t get it, I and my local Post Office, now have a theory. Since most Americans have never heard of Austria they probably thought it was a typo and sent both packages to the much better known Australia! I am NOT joking. Trust me, folks here have not heard of Austria. Yes, they don’t know where HE came from. They think he was born in Germany.

  10. Anura,
    I am sorry but just now I was looking up my e-mails. As for your first question: Yes, I do have Windows 7 so I shall theoretically be able to calculate BUT I am quite clumsy concerning technical things…but anyway I shall try it. Concerning the books it is really a strange thing… though I absolutely believe you regarding the possible confusion between Austria and Australia. I even remember that some years ago in our country there were sold quite popular stickers showing the Austrian flag and a kangaroo accompanied by an inscription saying “This is AUSTRIA – we DO NOT have kangaroos”:
    All the best !

  11. Correct,my table is whoever is the oldest at any one time,thus King (1901-2000) is listed while Dezza (1901-1999) is not,despite reaching a greater age than Antonelli(1896-1993) who preceded Kung.

  12. Your typos are always the best. King (1901-2000) and I thought we only had Princes, Lords, Dukes and Barons. I think we should per this refer to all of them as ‘My King Cardinal’ or ‘My Cardinal King’. Given that we should always give preference to OUR cardinals and of course MY CARDINAL, for them we could use ‘My Cardinal Emperor’.

  13. KUNG not King,it was the first that was the error.
    Of course,to an Italian,Cardinal Re’s name means King,to a German-speaker Cardinal Konig’s…

  14. Yes, yes … I KNEW you meant Kung. I said ‘TYPO’.

    Do you have a list of interesting … suggestive Cardinal names … and Sin has to be in there somewhere.


  15. Pope Benedict XV had a very appropriate family name to his career.

  16. I think you meant “We haven’t had a Cardinal elector die since April 19, 2008.” It was Lopez Trujillo, right? Dec. 12 (OL of Guadalupe) which you quoted was Dulles passing in Murray-Weigel Infirmary at Fordham, who died at 90.

  17. You are right. My typo. Actually mishap of me trying to be ‘too clever’ in my spreadsheet. I got my cardinal death dates from Salvador’s site which only lists cardinals. For the ages, rather than having to calculate them by hand, I went to Catholic Hierarchy. They have the dates but also lists bishops. Too tedious to go through by hand — for ME. So I set up a semi-automated process. I was just interested in the ages per year and NOT the order [i.e., dates they died]! So that is where I came unglued. I will fix it right away. I am amazed my cardinal experts such as Louis didn’t spot this.
    Well done. THANK YOU.

  18. Good one. Church.

  19. Today marked the 3rd anniversary of no cardinal elector death in the Catholic Church. Most likely this is already the longest time that no Cardinal elector has died since the Iintroduction of the 80-year rule.

  20. Bravo! Good observation. You could very well be right that 3 years is the longest. I do not know. I have not checked. Would be easy enough to do so, just time consuming. THANK YOU. All the best.

  21. I certainly already sent you the file with all the deaths in that period sorted by elector and not.

  22. I will have to look. I assume you have it archived anyway. Thanks.

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