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Clancy loses papal conclave voting right

Sydney's retired Cardinal Edward Clancy turned 80 on Friday, which means he loses his right to vote for the next pope, and Australia will have only two electors at the papal conclave.

Cardinal Clancy, who was an auxiliary bishop in Sydney and Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, before he was appointed Archbishop of Sydney, was elevated to cardinal in 1988. He retired in 2001.

Under a rule instituted by Pope Paul VI in the early 1970s, cardinals lose their right to participate in the election of a pope once they reach the age of 80. The loss of Cardinal Clancy from the papal conclave brings the number of Australian electors to two - Cardinals George Pell and Edward Cassidy.

A dinner to honour the cardinal was held earlier this month at the International College of Tourism and Hotel Management (formerly St Patrick's College) at Manly in Sydney. Guests included his successor Cardinal George Pell.

Currently there are 132 cardinal electors, all but four appointed by John Paul II. Next on the list for removal is Slovakia's Cardinal Korec (who turns 80 on 22 January). Ten cardinals will lose their voting rights during 2004, including Cardinal Edward Cassidy, who turns 80 on 5 July.

According to America magazine's Papal Transition FAQ, the maximum number of cardinals was set at 70 by Sixtus V in 1586. John XXIII ignored this limit and the college grew to over 80 cardinals. In 1970 Paul VI reformed the college of cardinals by increasing the number of electors to 120, not counting those 80 years of age and over who were excluded as electors. John Paul II exceeded this limit by two in 1998 and by 15 in 2001 and 2003.

Pictured: Cardinal Edward Clancy (right), with successor Cardinal George Pell.

Non-Voting Cardinals (
Voting Cardinals (
Manly dinner to honour cardinal's 80th birthday (Catholic Weekly 16/11/03)
Conversation: People 'often look for God in wrong places' - Cardinal Clancy, retired Archbishop of Sydney (Catholic Weekly 7/7/02)
Papal Transition FAQ

17 Dec 2003