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Rome Reports

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Cardinal Wilfred Napier turns 80 and can no longer vote in future conclaves

When a cardinal turns 80, he loses the right to vote in future conclaves. That's the case with Wilfrid Fox Napier, archbishop of Durban, South Africa. He turns 80 on March 8.

John Paul II made him a cardinal in 2001. He is known for his kind gestures. For example, during the Year of Mercy, he gave Pope Francis this plastic bracelet, and the pope put it on.

Archbishop of Durban, South Africa
“It is something a priest from my diocese did for youth for the Year of Faith. So it is 'Credo Domine,' 'I believe Lord.' And the fish, which is the sign for the Christians, for Jesus.”

He is known for his bold words during important Church events, like at the Synod on the Family in 2015. He's also never hesitated to denounce the problems Africa has always suffered, among them “ideological colonization.”

Archbishop of Durban, South Africa
“'You must control the expansion of the populations in Africa, otherwise they overrun the world.' That seems to be the thinking. It's ironic that Europe is now having such a, in so many ways, such a difficult decision to have to make as to what do they do in order to accommodate all the refugees that are coming from the Middle East at present.”

George Pell, Maurice Piat, Beniamino Stella and Angelo Scola are the other four cardinals who will turn 80 in 2021 and so lose the right to vote in future conclaves.

The College of Cardinals currently has 227 members, among them 126 electors.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi