That there might be a cardinal creating consistory in late 2010 was always on the cards. We even spoke about it on July 25, though at that time I was favoring the pre-Easter 2011 camp.
Then yesterday I received this comment, from I think Spain, with this link to an article by Marco Tosatto. It says, with a fair amount of conviction, that the next consistory will be announced on Oct. 20 (about 6 weeks from now) and that it will occur a month later. I looked up the author, Marco Tosatto. He sure knows his way around the Vatican. So this could be the real deal. Though he may have very good connections inside the Vatican his basic arithmetic worries me. He says, at least per my automatic Google translation, that ‘From 1 January 2011 the number of cardinal electors will drop to 101 (120 seats) …‘
Well, barring other eventualities, we will be at 101 electors on November 14, 2010 — when Cardinal Janis Pujats turns 80. See the list here. So January 1, 2011 is a bit of a red herring. The first cardinal to turn 80 in 2011 is on January 26.
I am not sure that there will be two cardinal creating consistories within 14 months, i.e., one in late Nov. 2010 and another in 2011. Too expensive for the Vatican. I personally don’t see an urgency for a cardinal creating consistory. The pope seems in god health and obviously has no plans to retire. Even if there was to be a conclave, there is nothing wrong with having ~100 electors. It isn’t as if there are major factions within this electorate. Yes, while we hope there are some shades of gray, this is still a very uniform, homogeneous body of electors, hand picked by John Paul II (#265) and his protégé (#266).
If the pope waits until March 5, 2011 he will have, at a minimum, 5 more cardinal elector vacancies. Please refer to this post on cardinal creating consistory trends and background data. The pope has enough titles and deaconries to accommodate these new creations, though he use pro hac vice ‘titles’ for the 6 current cardinal deacons who will be eligible to request cardinal priest titles, per jus optionis, on Feb. 21, 2011.
His cardinalabili list has no surprises … and if anything rather congruous with that produced by our Father John as of August 14, 2010. [Now at rev. 10]. He might even have got some ideas from Father John’s list. [[ smile ]].
So … very interesting stuff. Please stay tuned. It is late on a Sunday night, but we are making sure that you are kept as up to date as possible.
Thank you. All the best.