A great deal hinges on the naming of cardinals. The very word comes from Latin cardo, “hinge”. Cardinals are the Pope’s hingemen.
Phil Lawler made a proposal about the naming of new cardinals. Here is a key passage.
Rather than appointing the heads of major metropolitan archdioceses—the so-called “red hat sees” that traditionally have been guided by a cardinal-archbishop—the Pope might look for bishops who have shown that they can instill new vigor and evangelical purpose into their dioceses, and bring more souls to Christ.
He also makes the observation that this should be the criterion for appointment to any position, any diocese.
Once, probably around the time of the surprise appointment of Card. DiNardo, I opined that there perhaps there should be in countries such as the USA a couple, three hats that “float” around. Rather than automatically make, say, the Archbishop of Detroit or Baltimore cardinals (which may not be the case in the future), why not some one in the model of, say, Bp. Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO. Surprise! Raise them to some cardinalatial diocese later, or not, as it is opportune.
That would keep bishops on their toes.
I also hold in my mind-eye the sight of a galero in the little cathedral of Fargo, ND, where Card. Muench returned to be bishop.
I think I might just name a couple priests cardinals, priests well under 80 years old. Surprise!