A Red Hat for San Diego, by Stephen P. White

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*Image: Pope Francis greets Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego during an ad limina visit to the Vatican in 2020. (Photo: CNS)

By Stephen P. White, The Catholic Thing, June 2, 2022

Stephen P. White is executive director of The Catholic Project at The Catholic University of America and a fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Note: Many Catholics are dismayed that the pope chose to name Bishop Robert McElroy as a Cardinal, both because he is an advocate of the status quo on abortion and because of the slight to other prelates – notably LA’s Archbishop Jose Gomez. As Steven White points out today, however, a large majority of America’s bishops, who understand this country better than the current Vatican, are not going to be much moved by McElroy’s elevation. But the whole crop of Bergoglio cardinals are going to be an influence in America for the foreseeable future. The Catholic Thing intends to be here to analyze and shape that future. The stakes now are only higher which is why we ask you to please do what you can to help us remain a strong voice for the Faith in America. And be sure to tune in at 8PM EDT tonight to The World Over on EWTN. The Papal Posse (TCT Editor-in-Chief Robert Royal, Fr. Gerald E. Murray, and host Raymond Arroyo) will discuss the topic of Mr. White’s column and what the elevation of new cardinals may mean for the future of the Church and the election of the next pope. (The World Over may also be viewed on EWTN’s YouTube channel shortly after the live broadcast.)

Stephen P. WhiteLate last week, Pope Francis announced that he will create 21 new Cardinals at a consistory in Rome on August 27. The appointments include 16 men who will be under 80 years old at the time of the consistory, meaning they will be eligible to vote in a conclave. The consistory will bring the total number of voting-age Cardinals to 131.

The appointments continue Pope Francis’ pattern of naming a number of new Cardinals “from the peripheries” of the global Church. For example, the Apostolic Prefect of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia is among the new Cardinals. This shift goes hand in hand with a move away from appointments in large metropolitan sees that traditionally have been headed by a member of the College. Here in the United States, that means no red hat for the Archbishops of Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Philadelphia. The same goes for other places around the world, including the new Archbishop of Paris and the Archbishop of Milan. …

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