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Rome Reports

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Cardinal Rigali turns 80 and Cardinal George passes away

For the last 70 years, cardinals from the United States have made up about 10 percent of the College of Cardinals. But the demographics of the College are shifting. Within days, Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali, the former archbishop of St. Louis, turned 80. And Cardinal Francis Eugene George passed away at the age of 78. There are now just nine American cardinals eligible to vote in a conclave. By next year, another two American cardinals will likely celebrate their 80th birthdays: Roger Mahony and William Levada. The number of Americans cardinals who can vote for the next pope will be reduced to just seven. In the span of just a few years, American representation has sharply decreased. There are 223 members of the College of Cardinals, and just 120 of them are eligible to vote in a conclave. MPI/ATO RR VM -PR Up:GRT