Paolo Rodari of Palazzo Apostolico has an interesting piece today about a possible consistory in which Benedict XVI would name new cardinals, thus giving a indication about a future successor. Rodari’s focus is on Europe, but it is interesting for everyone.
Rodari is guessing that a consistory would be on the vigil of the Solemnity of Christ the King next November.
Right now there are 111 eligible as electors in a conclave should it be necessary … quod Deus avertat. The number set by Paul VI is 120, but a Pope can make as many cardinals as he sees fit.
Quite a few cardinals are coming up to their 80th birthday, when they will no longer be permitted to enter a conclave.
Rodari speaks of those who are not yet cardinals but whose office makes it a lock that they will be elevated to the sacred purple.
Then there are the wild card[inal]s, as it were. In Rodari’s list there are a couple conspicuous absences.