…by Anura Guruge
Prior related post:
Vacancies In Rome Post Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, Augsut 31, 2012; Now A Second Very Desirable, Historic Vacancy — Sept. 1, 2012.
Following the unexpected death of the once Major Penitentiary, Italian Fortunato Baldelli, a Cardinal Elector at age 77, we now have 15 vacancies in total, 10 of them titles. Deaths among Cardinal Electors are rare; none dying in 2009 or 2010. Having two die as was the case in 2011 is atypical. Cardinal Baldelli was the 1st in 2012 and could well be the only. The 15 vacancies we now has is plenty for a November 2012 or February 2013 cardinal creating consistory, if the pope stays close to the 120 limit — in that we would only be down to 111 electors by February 27, 2013. But, the pope most likely will establish a few new properties and go beyond the 120 limit.
This newly vacant deaconry is another ‘modern’ property; built in 1900 and established as a deaconry on April 25, 1985, so that it could be promptly assigned to the newly created German, Benedictine Cardinal Deacon Paul Augustin Mayer O.S.B., that day itself. Cardinal Mayer was Prefect, Congregation for Divine Worship and Prefect, Congregation for Sacraments and then President, Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. He opted be a Cardinal Priest per jus optionis in 1996 at which point this deaconry was promoted pro hac vice to a title. Cardinal Mayer died on April 30, 2010 — the deaconry then been given to Cardinal Baldelli six-and-half months later.
That this deaconry was established and given to Mayer, a Benedictine, makes sense. This church, connected to a monastery, is the seat of the Abbot Primate of the Federation of ‘Black Monks‘, these being all monks under the Rule of St Benedict except the Cistercians and the Trappists. There were no cardinals created in November 2010 that belonged to Congregations of Benedictine Monks, hence it been given to Baldelli. There are no Benedictines, as far as I can see, in Darien’s latest cardinalabili list. So, as was the case in November 2010 it might just be given to a new Italian or German cardinal.
There are 15 properties and 4 cardinal elector vacancies right now.