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AFTER THE CONSISTORY
from issue no. 11 - 2003

NOTE. After the Consistory of 21 October

Less Italy, more Eastern Europe



by Gianni Cardinale


Cardinals during the Consistory of 21 October 2003

Cardinals during the Consistory of 21 October 2003

After the Consistory celebrated on 21 October, that saw the creation of thirty new cardinals (one more reserved in pectore), the Sacred College is now composed of 194 cardinals. The “electors”, after Cardinal Achille Silvestrini reached eighty on 25 October, are 134.
As for the geographical balance within the Pope’s Senate there are no big differences - compared to 1978 – at continental level, apart from a slight “European” drop in favor of Asia. Currently 65 of the 134 come from the old continent (48.5%), at the death of Pope Luciani there were 56 out of 111 (50.5%). The Latin Americans are 24 (17.9%), and were 19 (17.1%). The North Americans are 14 (10.5%), and were 12 (10.8%). The Asians are 13 (9.7%), and were 9 (8.1%). The Africans are 13 (9.7%), and were 11 (9.9%). Lastly there are 5 cardinals from Oceania (3.7%), while in 1978 there were 4 (3.6%).
Within Europe instead there is a marked difference compared with the situation of twenty-five years ago. The Italians have lost considerable weight: now 22 (16.4%), then 25 (22.5%). Even greater the increase in cardinals coming from former communist central-east Europe: in 1978 there were barely five (4.5%), there are all of 16 now (11.9%), not counting the three North American cardinals originally from countries that were behind the Iron Curtain.


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