CitE Cardinals

Rock was all over the story first, and now the rest of St Blogosphere follows. Thanks to eighteen new appointments, we now have 121 cardinal-electors. According to John Allen, the 80th birthday of Cardinal Sodano will bring the number down to the legal 120 one day before the actual ceremony (24 November).

If you want the helpful stats most people focus on, go to the inimitable NCR writer.

In the interests of keeping a watch on careerism in the episcopacy (CitE), I reviewed the cardinal elector appointments on put together my own crunched numbers. Of these new cardinal-archbishops, here’s the tally of their dioceses and appointments:

Total new cardinal-electors: 18

Titular dioceses/archdioceses served: 11

Dioceses served as auxiliary bishop: 7

Curial appointment; only served at titular arch/bishop: 6

Another was once a bishop “in the trenches,” but resigned and two and a half years later took a post as Archbishop (personal title) of Loreto. Anybody know the story behind that?

Of the eleven remaining new cardinals who currently serve as a pastoral head of a see, a total of twelve “starter” dioceses were left behind on the way to the red hat. That excludes three situations in which a man served as an auxiliary, then was reassigned to another diocese (or two) before returning as archbishop.

Of those eleven, two served only one diocese as bishop, six served two sees, and three served three.

On the bright side, at least five cardinals are serving in the diocese in which they were born (3) or ordained (5).

On the Closed Cafeteria blog, Gerald is naturally putting a secular political spin on DiNardo’s red hat appointment. Even before immigration was such a hot flash issue for conservatives, Liam was predicting a red hat for the US south. More likely, the Vatican realizes US Catholics are more than just the old Northeast. I’ve seen no liberal fussing about a red state cardinal, but I’ve always thought Gerald is a glass-half-empty kind of commentator.

It’s not my intention to show up the new pope on the careerism angle. Pretty much everybody sitting in an arch-cathedra today is a product of the modernism that rewards ability, skill, and loyalty by shifting bishops ever upward. It is good to see that five of these archbishops have returned to the diocese they were ordained to serve. It would have been better had they never left, but that’s a complaint for another post.

I’m still disappointed about what the shifting of bishops and the naming of cardinals says about the dominance of careerism in the Church. If the red hat is an honor for a see, then just appoint a priest ordained in a see who moved up to the cathedra. If the red hat is an honor for the man, leave him in the diocese he was ordained to serve. Or at the very least, the diocese in which he was first appointed to the episcopacy.

If that means that places like Sioux City, Iowa or Embu, Kenya or Autlan, Mexico get a sitting cardinal, how is that not a good thing? The large archdioceses will always have a natural edge in numbers of outstanding clergy who would make good bishops. We would be spared the whining from St Louis, Baltimore, or Washington on how they used to have cardinals and now they don’t. Is a red hat an expectation that should be encouraged? In any see?

Any comments on your favorite cardinals, old or new?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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