Rumours suggest Pell could be named cardinal soon
Italian journalists have stepped up their speculation that Pope John Paul II might convene a consistory, and elevate new members to the College of Cardinals, in October.
Catholic World News reports that their talk is fueled by the fact that recent appointments to the Roman Curia and to several major archdioceses including Sydney have put several prelates into positions that are normally held by cardinals.
Archbishop George Pell was appointed Archbishop of Sydney in early 2001, replacing the retiring Cardinal Edward Clancy. For many years, it has been customary for the Archbishop of Sydney to be a member of the College of Cardinals.
The Pope has invited all of the world's cardinals to assemble in Rome in October, to join in the celebrations as he marks the 25th anniversary of his papal election.
The Vatican has confirmed that the current members of the College of Cardinals have been invited to Rome for that occasion. However there has been no comment from the Holy See regarding the rumours that some new red hats will be distributed at that time.
A second rumour - also unconfirmed by the Vatican - is that the Pope will call a consistory for February 2004.
The rumours of a consistory reflect the fact that by next February, only 103 cardinals will be under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a papal conclave. The current norms for the College allow for 120 cardinal-electors.
Catholic World News
Most Reverend George Pell (Biography, Sydney Archdiocesan website)
College of Cardinals (Holy See Press Office)
College of Cardinals (Aquinas Multimedia)
College of Cardinals (catholic-pages.com) | List
Who are the Cardinals? (insidethevatican.com)
19 Aug 2003