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Rome Reports

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Change in distribution of cardinals following June consistory


 HOW IS THE COLLEGE OF CARDINALS CHANGING?

To date, only 115 cardinals currently hold the right to vote in a conclave. As Cardinal Angelo Amato turns 80 on June 8, he will lose this ability. Vatican law permits 120 participants, so Pope Francis will appoint 11 new cardinals to fill vacant seats. While the limit will be exceeded, it has historically not been an issue. For example, John Paul II had 10 extra cardinals at one point. 

The 11 new cardinals represent eight countries, including Iraq, Pakistan and Japan. 

HOW MANY CARDINALS HAS POPE FRANCIS NAMED?

Following the consistory on June 29, there will be a total of 227 cardinals. Of these, 125 are under the age of 80 and can participate in a conclave. 

Among the electors, 19 were appointed by John Paul II, 47 by Benedict XVI and 59 by Pope Francis. 

HOW HAS THE DISTRIBUTION CHANGED UNDER POPE FRANCIS?

The Holy Father has now called five consistories, making appointments with the goal of greater representation for Catholics from the peripheries in future conclaves. 

This means fewer cardinals from Europe and North America, and more from Latin America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. 

During the 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis, Europe had 60 cardinals, Africa 11 and Asia 10. Oceania had only one; North America 20, and Latin America 17. 

Now, Europe has 54 cardinals, Africa 16, Asia 17, Oceania four; North America 17, and Latin America 17. 

WHICH COUNTRIES HAVE THE MOST CARDINALS?

Italy remains a superpower with 23 cardinal electors. The United States has 10; Spain, France and Poland share third place, with five each.