November 20, 2012. (Romereports.com) On Saturday November 24th, the Pope will appoint six new cardinals. He made the announcement a few weeks ago, during a general audience in St. Peter's Square. The new appointments will lower the average age of cardinals and it will give an international touch to the Pope's closest advisers.
The new cardinals are American, James Harvey, who currently serves as the Prefect of the Papal Household and will also be the future Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. The list also includes Maronite Patriarch Raï Béchara, who serves as Lebanon's main Catholic leader. Third on the list is Indian Baselios Thottunkal, the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Church. From Nigeria, there's John Onaiyekan, the Archbishop of Abuja. From Colombia, there's Ruben Salazar, the Archbishop of Bogota. From the Philippines, there's Luis Antonio Tagle, who serves as the Archbishop of Manila.
The new appointments give a greater representation of the Universal Church. In addition to advising the Pope, cardinals younger than 80, will be in charge of electing a new Pope in an eventual conclave.
Although there are no Europeans among these future cardinals, there are already 62 cardinal electors from Europe, making it the highest number when compared to other continents. Twenty seven of them are Italian. Latin America ranks second. It currently has 20 cardinals, but at the end of November it will have 21. North America ranks third with a total of 14. Africa has 12. Asia goes from eight to 11 cardinals. Oceania has one.
With 27 cardinals, Italy is the country that has the most cardinals. It's followed by the United States with 11 elector cardinals. Then, comes Germany with seven, followed by Spain which has six. India will have a growing representation in an eventual conclave with five cardinal electors, which is the same as Brazil and Mexico. France and Poland, each have four cardinal electors.
For a Pope to be successfully elected, he must obtain two thirds of the vote, plus one.
RCG-JMB @javierMbrocal /KLH