Rorate Caeli

Notable absences in the new consistory

My greatest surprise in this morning's announcement, by His Holiness, of the new consistory long predicted for March 24 (see list here in the Bulletin) was the absence of the Archbishop of Paris, André Vingt-Trois (the emeritus, Cardinal Lustiger, will turn 80 next September). The French choice fell on the Archbishop of Bordeaux and president of the French Episcopal Conference, Jean-Pierre Ricard. The Pope decided, as it had been rumored in the Italian Press, for a small consistory -- and it is probable that there will be yearly small consistories during his pontificate.

By region of the world, these are the choices of voting cardinals:

Europe: Franc Rodé (C. Religious), Agostino Vallini (Apostolic Signatura), Jean-Pierre Ricard (Bordeaux), Antonio Cañizares Llovera (Toledo), Stanislaw Dziwisz (Krakow), Carlo Caffarra (Bologna).

North America: William Levada (C. Doctrine of the Faith), Sean O'Malley (Boston)

Latin America: Jorge Urosa Savino (Caracas)

Asia: Gaudencio Rosales (Manila), Nicolas Cheong-Jin-Suk (Seoul), Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun (Hong Kong, China)

Note 1: Cardinal Zen Ze-Kiun is the first prelate from the People's Republic of China (true, Hong Kong, but the People's Republic, nonetheless) to be made Cardinal since Cardinal Kung, in 1979. Note 2: Only one cardinal from Latin America.


  1. That's most interesting about the passing over of Andre Vingt-Trois: isn't this somewhat extraordinary?

  2. Another notable absence is the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin. Martin was a high-flyer in the Vatican service until his appointment to Dublin three years ago. Yesterday's Irish Times predicted he would receive the red hat today. But Martin has been making some very ambiguous statements about priestly celibacy, civil unions, and homosexual seminarians. It looks as if word of this has reached Rome. Another pass-over to celebrate!

  3. Well, Le Salon Beige (listed in the blogroll) mentions that, since the Pope wished to name few cardinals and since there is already a high number of French Cardinals, he decided to pick only one. And... he decided to pick Ricard instead of Vingt-Trois... It's... curious and surprising...

  4. Well and now that I look at the numbers, I hadn't realized that Vingt-Trois has been Archbishop of Paris for a little less than a year. So I guess it's not that surprising.

    This small consistories at a time idea is interesting. I suppose that would be one way to keep better control of the ideological and regional (and so on) constitution of the College.

  5. I can't help express my tremendous disappointment over the elevation of a bishop, Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, who makes a mockery of the Catholic resistance in China, including the tens of thousand of saintly Bishops, priests and religious who have suffered and died in prison rather than renounce their allegiance to Rome.

    "As recently as this past October, Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun of Hong Kong ... told the synod of bishops at the Vatican that 'the Church in China, which appears to be divided in two —an official one recognized by the government, and an underground one which refuses to be independent from Rome — is actually a single Church, as everyone wants to stay united with Pope.'"

  6. Mgr Zen's predecessor in Hong Kong, the (mainland)Chinese born John Baptist, Cardinal Wu Cheng-Chung 胡振中樞機 received the sacred purple at the consistory of 28 June 1988.

  7. Very true, but then Hong Kong was still Her Britannic Majesty's own colony.

  8. I'm interested in knowing how old Archbishop Twenty-Three (the best ecclesiastical name since Cardinal Sin, RIP) is working out. Anybody know anything about him? Even how he was in Tours before he went to Paris. And how is the NEW archbishop of Tours, named by Ratzinger?

    We in the English speaking world need more of a window into things like the Church in France, in India (LOTS of Ratzinger appointments and LOTS of new dioceses created...what's up there?), in Brazil. Those of us with contacts in such places should start networking...


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