Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Red Dawn?

It was on the Feast of the Chair of Peter last year that, at a Wednesday Audience, Pope Benedict announced his intention to create 15 new Cardinals. Twelve of the fifteen would be under the age of 80, and thus bring the number of "Scarlet Knights" up to the maximum of 120 established by Pope Paul VI (which Pope Benedict brought up in his announcement, returning to the regulation interpreted loosely by Pope John Paul II). The remaining three would be over the age of 80 and be given in reward for long-time service to the Church. No vote in a conclave, but should a conclave happen, a guaranteed great seat up front (not to mention a clothes closet full of what Cardinal Hickey of Washington once told me were "all kinds of goodies").

Tomorrow is February 22, the Feast of the Chair of Peter, and there are currently 109 Cardinals within voting age. Will 11 men wake up tomorrow with red (or, more precisely, scarlet) in their eyes?

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