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What is wrong with this picture?

March 8, 2013

cardinals_regions
According to Vatican.va there are 117 cardinal electors. 107 countries have only one cardinal and 10 countries have more than one cardinal: Both Canada and Mexico have 3; Poland and France have four each. India, Spain and Brazil have five each. Germany has six cardinals and the United States has eleven.

Italy has 28.

Let me repeat that – Italy has 28. Actually, Italy has 49 cardinals, except that only 28 of them are under 80 years old.

Now, I know that for many centuries the Church was Italy and there is much historic importance to many dioceses in Italy, but seriously, why are there so many Italian cardinals?
Are there that many more Italian Catholics in the world? In fact, the country with most Catholics is Brazil with 145 million Catholics- they have 5 Cardinal electors. This is followed by Mexico with 123 million Catholics – they have three Cardinal electors. The Philippines has 69 million Catholics and they only have one cardinal elector. Italy only has 57 million Catholics – granted it is 96% of the population. But if you look at it by continent, there are by far more Catholics in Latin America than there are in Europe with Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador and Chile in the top 20 countries with most Catholics. This is compared to only Italy, France, Spain, Poland and Germany in the top 20.

I am not saying that the cardinals have to be representative of the population but shouldn’t they represent the Catholic world to a certain degree? Nothing against Italians, but why are there so many Italian cardinals?

And the US has 64 million Catholics; why are there 11 cardinal electors in the US? I mean, there are just as many cardinal electors in the US as there are in the whole of Africa. There are over 135 million Catholics in the whole of Africa- that’s twice as many as there are in the US. And Oceania only has one cardinal – an Australian one. They probably could use at least one more.

And what about all the countries that do not have a cardinal, like Panama? Who speaks for the Panamanian Church!?

We are living historic times and possibly times of change. Maybe how Cardinal hats are distributed is something that can use a little updating.

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From → English, Opinion

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