Pope Benedict XVI created 23 new cardinals today, including 2 Americans. This new group of Red Hats includes 18 electors who under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote for the next pope.
The two Americans are Cardinal John Foley who served for 23 years as President of the Pntifical Council for Social Communication and Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston. DiNardo, born in Steubenville, Ohio, and a priest of the Pittsburgh diocese, also served in the Congregation for Bishops from 1984 until 1990. In the case of Cardinal DiNardo, many feel that the red hat is considered a recognition of the shifting Catholic population in the United States, away from its long-held center on the East Coast toward the Southwest.
A consistory is the gathering of Cardinals and the ceremony in which the nominees formally become members of the College. The appointments bring the total number of American cardinals to 17, and the number of cardinal-electors to 13.