Pope Benedict names new cardinals

From Associated Press:

Pope Benedict XVI has named six new cardinals, adding prelates from Lebanon, the Philippines, Nigeria, Colombia, India and the United States to the ranks of cardinals who will elect his successor.

Benedict made the surprise announcement during his weekly general audience Wednesday and said they would be elevated at a consistory Nov. 24. The nominations help even out the geographic distribution of cardinals, which had tilted heavily toward Italy.

The new cardinals are: Monsignor James Harvey, the American prefect of the pope’s household; Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria, John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan; Archbishop of Bogota, Colombia, Ruben Salazar Gomez; Archbishop of Manila, Philippines, Luis Antonio Tagle; Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites in Lebanon, Bechara Boutros Rai; and the major Archbishop of the Trivandrum of the Siro-Malankaresi in India, Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal.

CNS has a full write-through, with additional details:

Of the six soon-to-be cardinals, only Cardinal-designates Harvey and Salazar were not members of the world Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization, which was meeting at the Vatican when the pope made his announcement.

As the pope climbed into the popemobile at the end of the audience, Vatican security officers and Vatican ushers approached Cardinal-designate Harvey and shook his hand in congratulations.

The late-November consistory will bring the total number of cardinals to 211 and the number of cardinals under age 80 to 120. Until they reach their 80th birthdays, cardinals are eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope.

Pope Paul VI limited the number of cardinal-electors to 120. After the Nov. 1 birthday of Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze and the Nov. 23 birthday of Italian Cardinal Renato Martino, there will be six vacancies.

Cardinal-designate Harvey has worked at the Vatican for 30 years. Born in Milwaukee Oct. 20, 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1975 by Pope Paul.

He entered the Vatican’s diplomatic corps and spent two years as a Vatican diplomat in the Dominican Republic before being transferred to the Vatican Secretariat of State in 1982. In 1997, he was named assessor of the secretariat, a rank similar to that of an undersecretary at a Vatican congregation, and in 1998 Pope John Paul II named him prefect of the Papal Household, the office responsible for organizing papal audiences, including those with heads of state.

When Cardinal-designate Harvey becomes a cardinal, the United States will have 19 cardinals, 11 of whom will be under 80 and thus eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a pope.


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