Maybe Next Time: Chaput and Nichols

Pope Benedict XVI named 22 new Cardinals today, but notably absent from the list was Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput and Westminster’s Archbishop Vincent Nichols.

On Archbishop Chaput:

(CBS) – Pope Benedict XVI named 22 new Cardinals Friday, including two from America. But, neither of them is Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput. Was it a snub?

“There are always more people who are in line to become Cardinals than there are slots to make them Cardinals,” says Philadelphia-based Catholic journalist Rocco Palma, who runs the website

Palma says it is not a snub from the Vatican and puts this in historical perspective.

“Cardinal Dougherty had been here three years before he was made a Cardinal. Cardinal O’Hara had been here eight years. Cardinal Kroll had been here six years. Cardinal Bevilacqua had been here three years.”

And Archbishop Chaput has been here for only four months. He is highly regarded in the Vatican, according to Palma, but there’s just too much to do. Palma says extra responsibilities of being a cardinal would get in the way of issues at home like school closures, next year’s parish planning and others.

“The archbishop’s focus would want to be on what’s going on in Philly and he wouldn’t want to be diverted by added international responsibilities right now.”

Palma says the 67-year-old’s time could come within the next few years. The new cardinals will be officially elevated next month.

And on Archbishop Vincent Nichols:

… Heretofore, Benedict has been a stickler for the custom that a new cardinal is not named until the previous cardinal of that diocese turns 80 (unless, of course, the retired cardinal dies in the meantime). That’s likely the reason, for instance, that Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster is still in a holding pattern; his predecessor, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, doesn’t turn 80 until August…

But Fr Z sums up matters well:

The list is out.

I was pleased to see that one of my profs from the Augustinianum was on the list, though he is over 80, Prosper Grech, OSA.  Trappé never had the red hat.

I was sad that good old Archbp. Luigi De Magistris was not included. It is a heavy burden.

No, Archbishop Chaput wasn’t named, but there are two living Cardinal Archbishops of Philadelphia, one of whom can still vote.  Archbishop Nichols of Westminster will remain without the red hat for a while longer, for his predecessor is still of voting age.  Archbishop Dolan is president of the conference and his predecessor is just a few months from turning 80.

Lot’s of Italians, which I don’t think is a great move.

Pray for the new Cardinals.


2 thoughts on “Maybe Next Time: Chaput and Nichols

  1. What naive postings!

    Vincent Nichols is also President of the Conference, presided over a successful Papal Visit against all the odds, and his predecessor also turns 80 in a matter of months (August). London could be argued to be as important as NY.

    Read what you might into that. But the Pope is sending a sign.

  2. Unfortunately none of the Cardinals will receive The Red Hat as it is no longer given, a pity that.
    So they will have to make do with The Red Biretta. The last English cardinal to receive The Red Hat was Cardinal Heenan.

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