It’s official: Archbishop Dolan will have to wait.
Pope Benedict this morning named 22 new cardinals, including the two Americans who were considered to be favorites: Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, head of the Vatican’s highest court, and Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington.
Dolan is on the outside looking in because Cardinal Egan is only 78 and is eligible to vote for a pope until he turns 80. The Vatican does not like to have two cardinals from the same diocese voting in a conclave.
Wuerl has been archbishop of D.C. since 2006, but had to wait for his red hat because his predecessor, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, didn’t turn 80 until July of this year.
Dolan should be a sure thing to see red in the next cardinal class, probably in two or three years.
He’s only 60, so he should have plenty of time to wear his eventual red vestments.
I didn’t see any predictions that Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore, a New Yorker with Westchester roots, would get a red hat. He’s already 71, but his predecessor, retired Cardinal William Keeler, will turn 80 next March.
You would think that O’Brien could have been slipped into this class. But some think that the archbishop of Baltimore may no longer be an automatic cardinal, with the country’s Catholic base redistributing itself, largely to the Southwest.
Anyway, Cardinal Egan released the following statement this morning:
It was with the greatest of pleasure that I learned today that His Excellency, The Most Reverend Donald W. Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, and His Excellency, The Most Reverend Raymond L. Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, are to be raised to the dignity of the Cardinalate by our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. I have known Archbishop Wuerl since his seminary days when I was serving on the faculty of the Pontifical North American College. He was an outstanding seminarian and has proved to be a most zealous and dedicated priest, Bishop, and Archbishop. Archbishop Burke I have also known for many years. When he was doing his doctoral work in Canon Law in Rome, I was a Judge of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota and had many occasions to discuss with him Canon Law and his doctoral dissertation during its preparation. He is a brilliant canonists and a most devoted Prefect of the Church’s highest tribunal on which I have the honor to serve. Today I contacted both Archbishop Wuerl and Archbishop Burke to express to each of them my heartfelt congratulations and prayerful best wishes.
The new cardinals will be elevated at a consistory on Nov. 20