25 November 2015

Age at Consecration for modern Bishops of Great Britain

With the recent nomination of Bishop-elect John Wilson to be an Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, which will make him the youngest bishop in Great Britain (47.56 at consecration), someone asked me to look at modern Bishops of Great Britain and their ages at consecration.

The data set included all bishops who were born in and/or served in Great Britain (including Nuncios) and were consecrated in 1850 or later. In total that is 347 bishops. The average age at consecration is 51.26 years old.

The youngest was Bishop Henry Hanlon, born in Manchester, consecrated a titular bishop and Vicar Apostolic of Upper Nile {Nilo Superiore}, Uganda at age 32.8 back in 1894.

The next youngest was Bishop William Joseph Hugh Clifford who was consecrated Bishop of Clifton at age 33.1 in 1857. He served in that role until his death 36 years later.

Bishop Vincent Paul Logan is the youngest living. He was consecrated Bishop of Dunkeld at age 39.6 in 1981. He served in that role for almost 35 years before resigning in 2012.

The oldest was William Theodore Cardinal Heard, born in Edinburgh, consecrated at 78.1 in 1962. He served in the Roman Curia and was active during the Second Vatican Council.

The oldest who served in Great Britain was Bishop William Anthony Johnson who was consecrated a titular bishop and Auxiliary of Westminster at age 73.6 in 1906. He passed away 3 years later.

The oldest who was an ordinary in Great Britain is Bishop Peter Antony Moran who was consecrated Bishop of Aberdeen at age 68.6 in 2003 and is still living, but retired since 2011.

20 November 2015

Prediction: Next Consistory to Create Cardinals

As this liturgical year wraps up, lets take a look at next year and the College of Cardinals. Currently there are 118 electors among the 218 living cardinals, leaving only 2 open "slots" for new voting age cardinals. Assuming no deaths, that will not change until 28 Feb 2016 when Cardinal Mahony loses his elector status.

Pope Francis has created cardinals twice - both in February - but with only 3 opens slots by the end of next February, it seems highly unlikely that he'll do it again next year.

However, by the end of the year, 10 more electors will age out - leaving 13 total open slots. At the time of the creations in 2014, there were 14 open slots and in 2015 there were 10.

So based on that and looking at the traditional times for such a consistory, I predict that the next consistory to create cardinals will be one held on Christ the King weekend in 2016 (19/20 November).

Now looking past that, in 2017 only 4 electors will age out - the last one in April. If I'm correct in the first prediction, there won't be one held in 2017.

2018 is a different story, with 7 cardinals losing their vote - the last one in June. My guess is there will be another consistory to create cardinals in the Spring of 2018.

Of course, I have no inside knowledge and the creation of cardinals is at the complete discretion of the Holy Father.