The Catholic Cardinals begin meeting on Tuesday, March 11, to select a new Pope. Only those age 80 or under can vote, and news reports say there will be 115 such cardinals.
I’m very interested in all of this. There is speculation about the cardinals, for the first time, electing a Pope from outside of Europe–perhaps Africa. Curious, I went to Wikipedia for a list of cardinals, wanting to see how they broke down by region of the world.
Number of voting Cardinals from Europe: 64
Number of voting Cardinals from the rest of the world: 63
Those are just the cardinals eliglble to vote. My own numbers from Wikipedia aren’t definitive, obviously, since they add up to a dozen more cardinals than the 115 expected to attend the conclave. But it’s at least in the ballpark.
Italy alone has 49 cardinals, of whom 28 are eliglble to vote. You can hardly walk down the street without bumping into a cardinal. The US has the second-largest contingent, with 13 voting cardinals.
Here’s an extended list of the total number of cardinals in various countries. The number of cardinals obviously isn’t based on the number of Catholics in the country.
- Brazil: 9 cardinals (123 million Catholics)
- Mexico: 4 cardinals (96 million Catholics)
- Philippines: 3 cardinals (75 million Catholics)
- USA: 19 cardinals (74 million Catholics)
- France: 8 cardinals (54 million Catholics)
- Italy: 49 cardinals (53 million Catholics)
- Nigeria: 3 cardinals (37 million Catholics)
- Spain: 10 cardinals (36 million Catholics)
- Colombia: 3 cardinals (39 million Catholics)
- Congo: 1 cardinals (36 million Catholics)
- Argentina: 4 cardinals (36 million Catholics)
- Poland: 7 cardinals (35 million Catholics)
- Germany: 9 cardinals (26 million Catholics)
The selection process is somewhat secretive. How political is it? I have no idea. But I’m fascinated.Leave a comment