For the third time since his election to the Holy See, Pope Benedict has appointed new members of the College of Cardinals, among them, two American archbishops, Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. and Archbishop Raymond Burke, a member of the Roman Curia. The appointments bring the number of U.S. cardinals to 18, but five of them are over 80 and may not vote in Papal Elections.
I was happy to congratulate Cardinal-designate Wuerl on his elevation. I had the pleasure of working with him for many years and know him to be an outstanding member of the hierarchy, as is Cardinal-designate Burke.
Thirteen different countries are represented among the new cardinals, but the appointment of 10 Vatican officials means that the greatest number of red hats went to Italian prelates. With these appointments 40 percent of the present college will have been appointed by the present Holy Father.
Pope Benedict will install the new cardinals at a consistory in Rome on November 20, just three days before the installation of Archbishop-designate Gustavo Garcia-Sillers, as Archbishop of San Antonio.
Our prayers and good wishes go out to all the new cardinals.