In late February, Pope Francis will be seeing red and a lot of it as he meets with the College of Cardinals and creates new members.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, told reporters
Dec. 5 that the international Council of Cardinals advising the pope on
the reform of the Roman Curia and church governance decided to extend by
a day their next meeting. It will be Feb. 17-19.
The spokesman also announced that Pope Francis would hold a consistory
or consultation with the entire College of Cardinals Feb. 20-21 at the
The meeting will precede the celebration of the Feb. 22 feast of the
Chair of St. Peter, which is when Pope Francis will create new
cardinals. The pope and the newly expanded College of Cardinals will
concelebrate Mass Feb. 23.
Pope Francis has not announced the names of the new cardinals, although
the date of the ceremony was announced in late October.
As of Dec. 5,
the College of Cardinals had 200 members, 109 of whom are under the age
of 80 and eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope.
cardinal will turn 80 Dec. 25 and two more will celebrate their 80th
birthdays in January.
According to rules established by Pope Paul VI, the college is not to
have more than 120 cardinals under the age of 80.
On occasion, both
Blessed John Paul II and retired Pope Benedict XVI exceeded the 120
limit on cardinal electors, but only for short periods.
respects the 120 limit, Pope Francis can create at least 14 cardinals in