Italian Cardinal Loris Capovilla, who served St. John XXIII before and after he became pope, died in Bergamo, near Milan. Capovilla was the oldest member of the College of Cardinals.
The pope did not say which prelates would be named cardinals, but the names are expected to be made public in mid-January.
The Tablet suspended Mickens on March 25 to conduct an investigation into a comment Mickens made on Facebook.
On Feb. 22, Archbishop Loris Capovilla, 98, who has spent his life devoted to Blessed John XXIII, will become the oldest living cardinal.