Update on who is to be cardinal

Since publication of my article "Who are going to be the new cardinals?", I have received numerous emails complaining that their archbishop was not listed among the 23 most likely to be cardinals. Since comments have been temporarily suspended, I will give voice to these readers here.

Many complaints came from England that Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster was not listed. Janet Lash pointed out that "the Archdiocese of Westminster has almost always had a cardinal archbishop since the hierarchy was restored to England and Wales under Cardinal Wiseman in 1850. Nichols' predecessor, Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, turned eighty in 2013. As you will know, Pope Francis recently appointed Archbishop Nichols to the Congregation of Bishops."

This certainly earns Nichols a place on the short list. In defense, I will note that he was listed first among the European "possibles."

Next came the complaints from the Philippines, one of the largest Catholic countries in the world, because Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu was not short listed. "The Archdioceses of Manila and Cebu, have traditionally been headed by cardinals since 1960 and 1969, respectively," explains Armando Jerome de Jesus. If the Philippines does get another cardinal, that will lessen the chances for Japan or Korea.

Other archbishops our readers wanted short listed included: André-Joseph Léonard, archbishop of Mechlen-Brussels, John Dew of Wellington, Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of Lviv of the Latins in Ukraine, Roberto Octavio González Nieves, O.F.M., of San Juan de Puerto Rico, and Wilton Gregory of Atlanta. Sorry, Atlanta has never had a cardinal.

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As the list gets longer, you can see what a problem the pope will have in choosing.

Some readers expressed dismay at the American candidates and suggested shortening the list by dropping one or more of them.

Finally, a few writers objected to calling Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin the primate of Ireland. They argued that the archbishop of Armagh is the primate.

In fact, Ireland has two primates. The archbishop of Dublin is the "primate of Ireland" and the archbishop of Armagh is the "primate of all Ireland."

As soon as the pope makes his choices known, you will hear about it here at NCRonline.org.

[Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese is a senior analyst for NCR. His email address is treesesj@ncronline.org. Follow him on Twitter: @ThomasReeseSJ.]

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