VATICAN CITY –– Pope Benedict XVI named 22 new cardinals, including two from the United States, and announced a consistory for their formal induction into the College of Cardinals Feb. 18.
Among those named were Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York; Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, pro-grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem who still is administering the Archdiocese of Baltimore; and Archbishop Thomas C. Collins of Toronto.
The pope announced the nominations to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square at noon Jan. 6, before praying the Angelus.
Cardinal-designate O’Brien, who was in St. Peter’s Square when his name was announced, said his priestly life has been “a surprise at every step. I thought being appointed archbishop of Baltimore would be the last surprise, but I was wrong.”
He told Catholic News Service that the ministries he had been appointed to, and now his elevation to cardinal, were not things he could “anticipate, navigate or engineer. It’s just a matter of being open and in the right place at the right time and good things happen.”
In separate statements, the North American cardinals were quick to stress the collective rather than the personal nature of the honor.
“This is not about Timothy Dolan,” the New York cardinal-designate said. “This is an honor from the Holy Father to the Archdiocese of New York. … It’s as if Pope Benedict is putting the red hat on top of the Empire State Building, or the Statue of Liberty, or on home plate at Yankee Stadium.”
Cardinal-designate O’Brien said his nomination reflected the “zealous faith” of Catholics in Baltimore, and Cardinal-designate Collins attributed his elevation to the pope’s “esteem for the role of Canada and of the Archdiocese of Toronto in the universal church.”
The latest additions will bring the United States and Canada’s share of the College of Cardinals to 22. The U.S., which is home to about 5.5 percent of the world’s Catholics, will provide almost 10 percent of the 125 cardinals under the age of 80, who are the only cardinals eligible to vote in a conclave for a future pope.
By contrast, only one of those named, Cardinal-designate Joao Braz de Aviz, comes from the country with the most Catholics, Brazil. When the cardinals are inducted in February, only seven of the 22 cardinal electors from Latin America will have been appointed by Pope Benedict.
With his latest appointments, Pope Benedict will have named more than 50 percent of the current cardinal electors, with the rest having been named by Blessed John Paul II.
The pope’s latest nominations included 16 Europeans, continuing a trend in his cardinal appointments since his election in 2005.
Seven of the new appointments are Italians, which will bring that nation’s total of cardinal electors to 30 – or 24 percent – more than any other country.
None of the new cardinals are from Africa, the region where the church is experiencing its fastest growth, or Oceania.
Ten of the new cardinals are officials of the Roman Curia, whose offices by tradition often entail membership in the college. Pope Benedict, when he was known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, spent more than 23 years in the curia as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, though he had been elevated to cardinal in his previous role as archbishop of Munich-Freising, Germany.
Four of the new cardinals are already over the age of 80 and, therefore, ineligible to vote in a conclave. The pope uses such nominations to honor churchmen for their scholarship or other service to the church. Among the new so-called honorary cardinals is Cardinal-designate Karl Becker, a Jesuit and former theology professor at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University.
The Jesuits remain the religious order with the highest representation in the college, with eight cardinals, followed by the Salesians with six, including the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. There are seven Franciscan cardinals, divided between the Order of Friars Minor and the Capuchins, with the latter represented by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston.
Here is the list of the new cardinals:
– Italian Archbishop Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, 65.
– Portuguese Archbishop Manuel Monteiro de Castro, major penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary, 73.
– Spanish Archbishop Santos Abril Castello, archpriest of Basilica of St. Mary Major, 76.
– Italian Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio, president Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, who turns 74 Feb. 3.
– Italian Archbishop Giuseppe Bertello, president of the commission governing Vatican City State, 69.
– Italian Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Interpreting Legislative Texts, 73.
– Brazilian Archbishop Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, 64.
– U.S. Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, 72.
– Italian Archbishop Domenico Calcagno, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, who turns 69 Feb. 3.
– Italian Archbishop Giuseppe Versaldi, president of Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, 68.
– Indian Archbishop George Alencherry of Ernakulam-Angamaly, major archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, 66.
– Canadian Archbishop Thomas C. Collins of Toronto, who will be 65 Jan. 16.
– Czech Archbishop Dominik Duka of Prague, 68.
– Dutch Archbishop Willem J. Eijk of Utrecht, 58.
– Italian Archbishop Giuseppe Betori of Florence, 64.
– U.S. Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, who will turn 62 Feb. 6.
– German Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki of Berlin, 55.
– Chinese Bishop John Tong Hon of Hong Kong, 72.
– Romanian Archbishop Lucian Muresan of Fagaras and Alba Iulia, major archbishop of the Romanian Catholic Church, 80.
– Belgian Fr. Julien Ries, expert on history of religions, 91.
– Maltese Augustinian Fr. Prosper Grech, biblical scholar, 86.
– German Jesuit Fr. Karl Josef Becker, retired professor of dogmatic theology, 83.
Contributing to this story was Cindy Wooden.