Five U.S. cardinals near or beyond retirement age

by Thomas C. Fox

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tfox@ncronline.org

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At age 75, bishops are requested to submit their resignation to the pope. Catholic News Service today reports the following cardinals are nearing or beyond retirement age. This, however, does not mean their hand in church affairs is about to vanish:


  • Cardinal Bernard F. Law, archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome and a cardinal since 1985, turned 75 Nov. 4, 2006.

  • Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia turned 75 on April 19, 2010.

  • Philadelphia-born Cardinal John P. Foley, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher since 2007, turned 75 Nov. 11.

  • Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles turns 75 on Feb. 27.

  • Cardinal William J. Levada, former archbishop of San Francisco and Portland, Ore., and a former auxiliary bishop in Los Angeles, will be 75 on June 15.

Pope Benedict, like his predecessor Pope John Paul II, often has asked cardinals to stay on the job after they reached the age of 75. Even when a cardinal retires in his 70s, he remains an active member of the College of Cardinals, eligible to enter a conclave and vote for a new pope, until age 80.

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