Upcoming consistory for FrankenPope to announce new cardinals?
Today (March 15th) there was a consistory of cardinals in Rome called by Pope Francis to announce the canonization of five saints (especially Mother Teresa of Calcutta) for the remainder of this “Holy Year of Mercy” (see www.ncregister.com/daily-news/mother-teresa-and-four-others-to-be-canonized-this-year/ ).
There is speculation that His Holiness would have another consistory of cardinals to announce the appointment of new cardinals. His two previous ones for such were held during February. The National Un-Catholic Reporter’s Michael Sean Winters (“MSW”) wrote at the end of 2015:
[T]he pope is expected to hold a consistory to create new cardinals at some point during the year, although no one knows exactly when. The past two years, he has held consistories in February, but there are not many openings in the Sacred College at the moment, with 118 electors under the age of 80. Starting on Feb. 27, however, when Cardinal Roger Mahony hits 80, eleven electors will age out by the end of the year. Four more age out in the first months of 2017, so the pope could easily make twenty cardinals this year. The last two consistories have featured many surprises, for example, passing over traditional cardinalatial sees like Venice and Turin to select lesser known prelates in Italy, those associated more with the peripheries. As well, Pope Francis has yet to name a cardinal from the U.S. and it is time for America to have its first Latino cardinal: Look for Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez to get a red hat. +Gomez embodies the kind of gentle, pastoral leadership that we love about Pope Francis and, in addition, our inner cities, places like South–Central LA, are where the Church of the poor is most present. If the pope wants to pick a nontraditional see, Atlanta’s Archbishop Wilton Gregory, another pastoral churchman, could get the nod. And Chicago, like Los Angeles, is a city where the periphery is in the inner city, and Archbishop Blase Cupich has also been a model of the kind of civic engagement, and pastoral leadership, the pope has called for repeatedly.
I agree with MSW’s analysis that the pope will continue to pack the College of Cardinals with those in his image (“FrankenCardinals”) but speculate that the US will get two new cardinals (especially because the country were passed over in the first two batches). I think that Chicago Archbishop Cupich will get his red hat but that LA Archbishop Gomez (a B16 appointment) will be passed over (at least this time) for a new arrival on the scene, Archbishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, which is the fastest-growing diocese in the US (especially with illegal immigrants) and who is a more “authentic” Frankenbishop appointed by Papa Francisco himself and mostly likely with the advice of LaDonna Cardinal.