Although the consistory scheduled June 28 at the Vatican will not include any cardinals born in the U.S. or representing U.S. dioceses, it is nonetheless clear that American participation in the College of Cardinals has changed dramatically in the past century.

Including next week’s consistory, Pope Francis will have created 61 cardinals, only three of them Americans: Archbishops Blase Cupich of Chicago and Joseph Tobin of Newark, and Irish-born Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas (prefect of Laity and Family Life), all elevated last Nov. 19.

But then, U.S.-born members of the College, or foreign-born leaders of U.S. dioceses, are a relatively new phenomenon in the Catholic Church’s hierarchical history. There were, in fact, none until Archbishop John McCloskey of New York was elevated on March 15, 1885 by Pope Pius IX.

He was followed in 1886 by Archbishop James Gibbons of Baltimore (under Pope Leo XIII); in 1911 by Archbishops John Farley of New York and William O’Connell of Boston (under Pope Pius X); and in 1921 by Archbishop Dennis Dougherty of Philadelphia (under Pope Benedict XV).

Close to 500 consistories were held from the 15th through early 20th centuries (109 in the 19th century alone). Pope Pius XI, in fact, celebrated 17 consistories in his 17 years as pope (1922-39), although many of those consistories saw the elevation of just one or two men to the rank of cardinal. The lone Americans elevated during that time --- Archbishops Patrick Hayes of New York and George Mundelein of Chicago --- were the only two members from the consistory of March 24, 1924.

After World War II

Due largely to the turmoil of World War II and the difficult recovery period that followed, Pope Pius XII (1939-58) held just two consistories, though they resulted in 57 new cardinals. The first, in 1946, saw the elevation of a then-record four American Archbishops: John Glennon (St. Louis), Edward Mooney (Detroit), Francis Spellman (New York) and Samuel Stritch (Chicago).

The second, in 1953, included just one American cardinal: Archbishop James Francis McIntyre of Los Angeles, the first time a western U.S. diocese had been included in the College.

Pope (now St.) John XXIII held five consistories in five years, elevating 55 men to cardinal, five of them from the U.S.: Archbishops Richard Cushing (Boston) and John O’Hara (Philadelphia) in 1958; Archbishop Albert Meyer (Chicago) and Bishop Aloysius Meunch (Fargo, North Dakota) in 1959; and Archbishop Joseph Ritter (St. Louis) in 1961.

The man who opened the doors wider to American participation in the College (and, thus, papal electing) was Pope Paul VI, the first pontiff to visit the U.S. while pope (in 1965), who created 12 cardinals (144 altogether) in six consistories over 15 years. The first: Archbishop Lawrence Shehan of Baltimore, in 1965.

Four more were elevated (along with Archbishop Karol Wojtyla of Cracow, the future St. John Paul) in 1967: Archbishops John Cody (Chicago), John Krol (Philadelphia), Patrick O’Boyle (Washington) and Francis Brennan (a Philadelphia priest and dean of the Roman Rota).

Another four followed in 1969: Archbishops John Carberry (St. Louis), Terence Cooke (New York) and John Dearden (Detroit), and Bishop John Wright (Pittsburgh).

Archbishops Timothy Manning of Los Angeles (born in Ireland) and Humberto Medeiros (born in Portugal) of Boston were among the 30-member consistory of March 5, 1973, with Archbishop William Baum of Washington the last American named by Paul VI in 1976.

John Paul’s expansion

Pope John Paul II, thanks largely to his longevity but also to his penchant for making the College of Cardinals better reflect the universality of the Church, created 233 cardinals (14 of them from the U.S.) in nine consistories celebrated during his 26-year pontificate. Not until his third consistory, however, in 1985 were any American cardinals created: Archbishops Bernard Law of Boston and John O’Connor of New York, followed in 1988 by Archbishops James Hickey of Washington and Edmond Szoka of Detroit.

Archbishops Roger Mahony of Los Angeles --- the first native Californian --- and Anthony Bevilacqua of Philadelphia became cardinals June 28, 1991, followed in 1994 by Archbishops William Keeler (Baltimore) and Adam Maida (Detroit), and in 1998 by Archbishops Francis George (Chicago) and Thomas Stafford (formerly of Denver and then president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity).

John Paul elevated the largest group of cardinals ever created at one time --- 42 --- on Feb. 21, 2001, a group that included Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, elected 12 years later as Pope Francis. The new cardinals also included the future pope’s fellow Jesuit, the late American theologian Father Avery Dulles, and Archbishops Edward Egan of New York and Theodore McCarrick of Washington.

The second California-born member of the College of Cardinals, elevated by John Paul at his final consistory in 2003, was Archbishop Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, a Los Angeles native who had served many years at the Vatican prior to being named archbishop of St. Louis, and then Philadelphia.

Another Angeleno

Under Pope Benedict XVI, five consistories produced 91 cardinals, nine of them from the U.S. The first, in 2006, were Archbishop William Levada, a Long Beach native who had succeeded the pope as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Archbishop Sean O’Malley of Boston, a Capuchin Franciscan who today holds the most seniority among voting-eligible cardinals from the U.S.

In 2007, Archbishops Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston (the first Texas diocese to earn representation in the College) and John Foley, Pro-Grandmaster of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (and a native Pennsylvanian), were created cardinals. Archbishops Raymond Burke, formerly of St. Louis and prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, and Donald Wuerl of Washington, followed in 2010.

Three Americans were named in Pope Benedict’s two consistories of 2012: Archbishops Timothy Dolan (New York) and Edwin O’Brien (the New York-born Pro Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre), on Feb. 18, and Bishop James Harvey (the Milwaukee-born prefect of the Papal Household), on Nov. 24.

The June 28 consistory will bring the College of Cardinals’ membership to 226, 121 of them cardinal electors (or under age 80, and thus eligible to vote in a papal conclave). The representation of Americans in the College is at an all-time high: 16, including nine Cardinal Electors (the oldest: Cardinal O’Brien, 78) and seven non-voting cardinals.

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