MONDAY
January 22, 2001
volume 12, no. 22
Analysis of the New Cardinals the Pope Chose January 21st for the Consistory on February 21st


by Robert Moynihan, editor, INSIDE THE VATICAN

    VATICAN CITY -- January 22, 2001. Pope John Paul II Sunday announced a surprising list of 37 new cardinals who will be officially installed at a consistory in Rome on February 21.

    Below we give the entire list; here, we offer some reflections on the names chosen.

    The first striking fact is that the Pope chose to far surpass the traditional "ceiling" of 120 voting cardinals (those under age 80). He chose 37 names, 33 of them under 80.

    Since there are currently 95 cardinals under age 80, it was thought the Pope would fill only the 25 "vacancies" on the college, thus bringing the number up to 120. By choosing 33 instead, John Paul brought the number of those entitled to vote in a conclave to 128 -- the highest level in history.

    This all suggests that the 120 "ceiling" may not last much longer; if it continues to be impossible to hold the number under 120, the number of cardinals may within a few years be raised officially, perhaps to 150 or more.

    Second, John Paul chose two eastern Church Patriarchs (Moussa I Daoud of Syria and Stephanos II Ghattas of Alexandria). This is a clear signal of the Roman Catholic Church "opening" to the East. The eastern Churches are "stepping stones" on the road toward the Orthodox, since they share a liturgy derived from Byzantium. Bringing two Eastern Patriarchs into the College of Cardinals is a daring gesture toward the Orthodox which will certainly have ecumenical significance. Just as the College is increasingly less "Euro-centric," by choosing these Patriarchs, John Paul is making it less "Latin-centric."

    Third, John Paul gave a great deal of weight to Latin America, choosing eight cardinals from that continent (10 if two Latin Americans who were chosen from the Curia are included).

    This could make it more likely that the next Pope, like the present one, will be a non-Italian (though the Latin Americans have close cultural and personal relations with the Italians, and so might well choose an Italian).

    And it seems likely to increase the already good chances that the next Pope, if a non-Italian, will be a Latin American. Many in Rome are already looking for the "Latin American candidate" among the Latin American cardinals.

    In this regard, the reinforcement of the Portuguese-speaking contingent of cardinals (two from Brazil and two from Portugal) may be significant.

    Fourth, the Pope left off of the list any diocesan bishop from Germany, choosing instead to name a German in the curia (Walter Kasper) and an aging German theologian (Monsignor Leo Scheffczyk).

    This was a clear message against the German bishops who have distanced themselves from Rome on the issue of abortion and women priests, and especially against Bishop Karl Lehmann of Mainz, who, as president of the German bishops' conference, ordinarily would have been expected to be named a cardinal.

    John Paul's firm line on these moral and ecclesial issues continues -- even at the risk of alienating the still rich and powerful Catholic Church in Germany.

    Fifth, in a bit of a puzzle, the list of new cardinals seems to include very few names from Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

    There are only two Africans (and one of those might be more properly be called a Middle Easterner, the aging Stephanos II Ghattas, Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts), only two Asians, both from India, only one Eastern European (Audrys Backis, Archbishop of Vilnius, Lithuania) and no one at all from Oceania.

    Thus, the "Third World" is represented on this list almost entirely by Latin America. The list is predominantly a "First World" list, with a strong Latin American contingent as an apparent "balance."

    Sixth, curial officials received their due. Twelve out of the 37 cardinals, or about one-third, work in the Roman Curia (Re, Van Thuan, Cacciavillan, Sebastiani, Grocholewski, Saraiva Martins, Sepe, Mejia, Moussa I Daoud, Pompedda, Kasper and Tucci).

    The most significant names here are those of Sepe and Kasper. Sepe distinguished himself during the Jubilee year as the hard-working and efficient administrator of an enormous undertaking, but he is not known as a pastor or as a theologian. Kasper has been the quiet Number 2 man at the Council for Christian Unity behind Cardinal Edward Cassidy, but he now looks set to replace Cassidy as head of the Church's ecumenical work (though some see a German diocese in his future and a different man at the head of the ecumenical office).

    It was rumored in Rome that the Pope wished to grant fewer red hats among the curial officials and more among "pastors" who head dioceses around the world, and, indeed, that the discussion of this possibility was in part the reason for the delay in the announcement of these names from last Sunday to this Sunday. It now seems that John Paul was persuaded to include nearly all of the possible curial names on the lists. The result is a strong "curial-centric" tilt to this slate of cardinals.

    Seventh, the United States received two strong new cardinals with McCarrick of Washington and Egan of New York, and a third "emeritus" cardinal with a record for profound theological work, the Jesuit Avery Dulles.

    Eighth, the selection of Backis from Vilnius could set the stage for his return to the Curia, perhaps as successor to Cardinal Tomko at Propaganda Fide.

    Ninth, the puzzle of one "non-chosen" cardinal. John Paul overlooked a number of candidates in the curia, but chief among these, arguably, is Julian Herranz, a canon lawyer who heads the Vatican office for the interpretation of legislative texts -- the Church equivalent of a supreme court chief justice.

    Herranz, a member of Opus Dei, was expected to be among those created a cardinal. Why he was not chosen is not known.

    Here below we give the list of new cardinals in the order they were announced by Pope John Paul II. (Note: Some new agencies have given out the list in alphabetical order. While we do not know if there is any significance to the order in which the names were announced, we choose to follow the order of the official Vatican press release, which follows the order of Pope John Paul's own announcement.)

BASED IN THE VATICAN

  • 1. Monsignor Giovanni Battista Re, Prefect of Congregation for Bishops, from Italy.
  • 2. Monsignor Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, President of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, from Vietnam who also conducted the inspiring Lenten Retreat last year.
  • 3. Monsignor Agostino Cacciavillan, President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, from Italy.
  • 4. Monsignor Sergio Sebastiani, President of the Prefecture of the Holy See's Economic Affairs, from Italy.
  • 5. Monsignor Zenon Grocholewski, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, from Poland.
  • 6. Monsignor Jose Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, from Portugal.
  • 7. Monsignor Crescenzio Sepe, Secretary General of the Great Jubilee Committee, from Italy.
  • 8. Monsignor Jorge Maria Mejia, Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church, from Argentina.
  • 9. Ignace Moussa I Daoud, Prefect for the Congregation of Eastern Churches, from Syria.
  • 10. Monsignor Mario Francesco Pompedda, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal, from Italy.
  • 11. Monsignor Walter Kasper, emeritus bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, from Germany.

FROM OUTSIDE OF ROME

  • 12. Monsignor Antonio Jose Gonzalez Zumarraga, archbishop of Quito, Ecuador.
  • 13. Monsignor Ivan Dias, archbishop of Bombay, India.
  • 14. Monsignor Geraldo Majella Agnelo, archbishop of Sao Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.
  • 15. Monsignor Pedro Rubiano Saenz, archbishop of Bogota, Colombia.
  • 16. Monsignor Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, D.C.
  • 17. Monsignor Desmond Connell, archbishop of Dublin, Ireland.
  • 18. Monsignor Audrys Juozas Backis, archbishop of Vilnius, Lithuania.
  • 19. Monsignor Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop of Santiago, Chile.
  • 20. Monsignor Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
  • 21. Monsignor Bernard Agre, archbishop of Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
  • 22. Monsignor Louis-Marie Bille, archbishop of Lyon, France.
  • 23. Monsignor Ignacio Antonio Velasco Garcia, archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela.
  • 24. Monsignor Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, archbishop of Lima, Peru.
  • 25. Monsignor Francisco Alvarez Martinez, archbishop of Toledo, Spain.
  • 26. Monsignor Claudio Hummes, archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • 27. Monsignor Varkey Vithayathil, archbishop major of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Siro-Malabaresi, India.
  • 28. Monsignor Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • 29. Monsignor Jose Da Cruz Policarpo, patriarch of Lisbon, Portugal.
  • 30. Monsignor Severino Poletto, archbishop of Turin, Italy.
  • 31. Monsignor Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, archbishop of Westminster, Britain.
  • 32. Monsignor Edward Michael Egan, archbishop of New York, United States.

After naming these 32, the Pope added the following five, four of whom are over age 80, and a fifth (Tucci) who will turn 80 in April:

  • 33. Stephanos II Ghattas, patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts
  • 34. Monsignor Jean Honore, archbishop emeritus of Tours, France.
  • 35. The Reverend Roberto Tucci, Vatican Radio official.
  • 36. Monsignor Leo Scheffczyk, a theologian from archdioceses of Munich and Feising in Germany.
  • 37. The Reverend Avery Dulles, theologian, professor at Fordham University, New York City.

    If we divide the new cardinals up by country of origin, including those who are currently in the Curia, we get the following list: EUROPE -- 18 (about one half of those chosen)

    Italy -- 7
  • 1. Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of Congregation of Bishops.
  • 2. Monsignor Agostino Cacciavillan, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See.
  • 3. Monsignor Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture of the Holy See's Economic Affairs.
  • 4. Monsignor Crescenzio Sepe, secretary general of the Great Jubilee Committee.
  • 5. Monsignor Mario Francesco Pompedda, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal.
  • 6. Monsignor Severino Poletto, archbishop of Turin, Italy.
  • 7. The Reverend Roberto Tucci, Vatican Radio official.

    Portugal -- 2

  • 8. Monsignor Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, Portugal.
  • 9. Monsignor Jose Da Cruz Policarpo, patriarch of Lisbon, Portugal.

    Germany -- 2

  • 10. Monsignor Walter Kasper, emeritus bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.
  • 11. Monsignor Leo Scheffczyk, a theologian from archdioceses of Munich and Feising in Germany.

    France -- 2

  • 12. Monsignor Louis-Marie Bille, archbishop of Lyon, France.
  • 13. Monsignor Jean Honore, archbishop emeritus of Tours, France.

    Ireland -- 1

  • 14. Monsignor Desmond Connell, archbishop of Dublin, Ireland.

    Lithuania -- 1

  • 15. Monsignor Audrys Juozas Backis, archbishop of Vilnius, Lithuania.

    Poland -- 1

  • 16. Monsignor Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

    Spain -- 1

  • 17. Monsignor Francisco Alvarez Martinez, archbishop of Toledo, Spain.

    Great Britain -- 1

  • 18. Monsignor Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, archbishop of Westminster, Britain.

LATIN AMERICA -- 10

  • 19. Monsignor Jorge Maria Mejia, archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church.
  • 20. Monsignor Antonio Jose Gonzalez Zumarraga, archbishop of Quito, Ecuador.
  • 21. Monsignor Geraldo Majella Agnelo, archbishop of Sao Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.
  • 22. Monsignor Pedro Rubiano Saenz, archbishop of Bogota, Colombia.
  • 23. Monsignor Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop of Santiago, Chile.
  • 24. Monsignor Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
  • 25. Monsignor Ignacio Antonio Velasco Garcia, archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela.
  • 26. Monsignor Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, archbishop of Lima, Peru.
  • 27. Monsignor Claudio Hummes, archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • 28. Monsignor Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

THE UNITED STATES -- 3

  • 29. Monsignor Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, D.C.
  • 30. Monsignor Edward Michael Egan, archbishop of New York.
  • 31. The Reverend Avery Dulles, theologian, professor at Fordham University, New York City.

ASIA -- 4

  • 32. Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, president of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace.
  • 33. Ignace Moussa I Daoud, prefect for the Congregation of Eastern Churches, Syria.
  • 34. Monsignor Ivan Dias, archbishop of Bombay, India.
  • 35. Monsignor Varkey Vithayathil, archbishop major of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Siro-Malabaresi, India.

AFRICA -- 2

  • 36. Monsignor Bernard Agre, archbishop of Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
  • 37. Stephanos II Ghattas, patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts.

For other news stories, see


January 22, 2001
volume 12, no. 22
News from Rome



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