One of these days Pope Benedict will announce a consistory and the names of those whom he intends to make cardinals.
There remains speculation that a consistory might be called for the Solemnity of Christ the King in November. If that is the case, time is getting short.
The present legislation foresees 120 voting cardinals. That number fluctuates according to the workings of the biological solution and the will of the Roman Pontiff.
There are at present quite a few important curial positions and sees around the world which usually have cardinals… but don’t.
At the time of this writing, I believe there are 103 voting cardinals (men who have not turned 80 years old). By the end of November two more cardinals will hit 80 (Tumi, Pujats), bringing the number of voting cardinals down to 101. By the end of next February, four more (Panafieu, Vidal, García-Gasco, Ruini – sadly) – 97. By the end of April two more (Keeler, Sebastiani) – 95. So, an American and two Italians will have dropped from the list, leaving 10 Americans and 15 Italians as electors.
I am guessing that the USA would pick up 3, including Dolan (NY), Burke (Curia), and probably Wuerl (D.C. although there still as two living retired cardinals), and I doubt that Detroit and Baltimore will remain cardinalatial sees. That would give the USA 13. The Italians will probably pick up 8 including Romeo (Palermo), Bettori (Florence), Amato (Curia), De Paolis (Curia), Baldelli (Curia), Ravasi (Curia), Vegliò, (Curia), Monterisi (Curia). Italy – 23, which strikes me a few too many. Spain could get 3 (Toledo, Valencia, Sevilla). Spain will have lost one. Spain – 8.
Of course important sees such as Westminster, Rio, Toronto, Warsaw, Munich will get cardinals. A few others. Hong Kong? Colombo? There will surely be a sprinkling of hats for men over 80, probably old theologians.
So an announcement … Sunday at the Angelus? Next Wednesday’s General Audience? Postponed until after next Easter? Guesses?