Will there be 1000 Cardinals in the Church?

I have a question -
Pope Francis has created more Cardinals , I am not against it but I believe that will it cause any problem for the future conclave ?
What are your views on this, please tell ?
Imagine in future like 2050 or 2100 , Pope creates cardinals and the total collage of Cardinal is 1000.
Will there be 1000 or 2000 Cardinals in the future?
Please tell
Peace to all
(If you want to edit the question , plz go for it, Thanks).

Popes create Cardinals all the time. And Cardinals lose their voting privileges for Papal Conclaves when they turn 80 (or was it 85? 75? One of those three). So newer and younger Cardinals must be made.


Thanks for answering.

Only 120 are allowed to vote in a papal election, which is an approximate number. Popes have been adhering to that number, adding more only as Cardinals turn, or are about to turn, 80.

120 is a recent limit, adopted with the construction of new quarters for a conclave. Before the limit was how many could live in the Sistine Chapel for the length of the conclave.

Cardinals have been papal electors for only about 1000 years. Before that the people of Rome selected the Pope. It got messy and violent which is why the power was vested in the Sacred College. Until about 50 years ago or so, the number of cardinals was 70 without an age limit. Since then Popes have routinely exceeded the number set by law - which they can do BTW. Also, several nation’s rulers have had veto power over elections. The last veto was after Leo XIII when the power was thereafter removed.

All that being said, who knows what the future holds? Lay electors that could include women and non-clerics (the so-called lay electors in the College we all clerics albeit not priests or bishops)…a woman cannot be elected Pope, but I can see no bar to women being electors if the law is changed. Perhaps the power will be taken from the College? The point is not to say any of this should happen…just that no one here knows the future…

Historically, many elections were at the Quirinal Palace…so the limits of the Sistina were not the driving factor.

Since 1975, the maximum number of cardinals with voting rights at a conclave has been limited to 120. Notionally, at some future date a pope might alter the rule, either raising or lowering that ceiling. But @3335, what makes you think any pope might want to create as many as a thousand cardinals? What is the reasoning behind your question?

Thanks for answering .
The 1000 Cardinals were just a imagination , but I believe Earth is round and any thing can happen anytime.
Thanks again and Peace.

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there have been times, though, when popes have appointed such that there are more than 120 . . .

The only one who hasn’t since Paul VI first introduced the limit was JPI (for obvious reasons). JPII reached 135 at one point… As of today’s date, there are 119 Cardinal Electors, with a further nine due to be created on 28 November, maing for a total of 128. Of that number, six are due to retire in the next 12 months.

The expectation is obviously that the surplus will resolve itself in due course as electors reach retirement age. The problem of course is what happens if the Pope dies before that happens, since the maximum number of electors (in a conclave) cannot legally exceed 120 but, at the same time, no Cardinal elector can be excluded from participation in the election. I can’t help but wonder if there’s a pre prepared piece of legislation lying around somewhere, awaiting a signature and date, ready to be whipped out if/when the Pope is in danger of death in order to quickly fix the condundrum.


I would suspect that the appointments supersede the rule, but . . .

In the last nose o=count I could quickly find, there are 218 cardinals, with only 119 as electors (and subject to change as some age).

No idea where you get the number 1,000; nor do I perceive any problem with that many, should the Church eventually get to that amount. What can 1,000 not do that only 119 can do? How does it create any possible problem?

Probably not. The chaos caused by legislation from the Pope’s deathbed would be too great. I would go with the appointments are more important than the limit, as @dochawk said.

In 2013, there were 117 eligible to vote, but only 115 participated at the conclave; one was too ill to come and the other disqualified himself as part of settling his mishandling of sexual abuse cases.There may be other reasons the number of electors is not as great as it appears, like the situation with Becciu who is no longer an elector. The excess might become cover for some cardinals not participating…

No; the relevant law - Universi Dominici Gregis makes it clear that the maximum number of electors is 120. It is of course open to the Holy Father to waive or change this law but that’s something which would need to be done explicitly.

The number I referred to above (which should actually include the recently announced cardinals since they’re actually already eligible to vote even without being “hatted”) already excludes Becciu. Granted, we can expect that there’ll be some who can’t make a conclave due to health or other reasons but only a handful. To put it another way, were a conclave held next week, it’s almost certain that the number of cardinals under the age of 80 would be more than 120.

Universi Dominici Gregis basically leaves it up to the cardinals themselves (as in the entire college) to come up with a solution since it gives them the power to interpret doubtful or controverted points. It may well be that some cardinals choose to step aside in favour of their brethren, or that they draw lots (a biblical solution if ever there was one) to decide. In fairness, this is hardly a new problem so presumably someone out there has turned their mind to it and has a plan.

But what would happen when the number of them is over 120 were an election to occur?

If 122 show up, are the 2 most junior simply excluded from voting?

If 122 show up to vote, Rudy Giuliani will be there to contest the election and declare the papal election invalid.

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That’s OK; the AlGore will get 125 votes, and all well be well.
:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :scream: :rofl:

No, not necessarily. The college of cardinals (i.e. all the cardinals present, not just those under 80) could decide this by majority vote.

No doubt representing ex-cardinal Becciu who will be claiming that illegal voters stole the election from him and the Roman Rota should appoint him Pope!

Well, the other issue is that some cardinals in the past were appointed/“created” as a honor for their service to the Church, some already past voting eligibility. St. John Paul II “created” three prominent theologians (all priests but not none bishops) as cardinals:

Henri de Lubac
Hans Urs von Balthasar
Avery Dulles

Yves Congar, op
Aloys Grillmeier, sj
Paolo Dezza

As well.

And a number of others for their lives under Nazis and communists.

The start to all this was Paul VI naming Jacques Maritain. Francis has honored a good number this way, including John XXIII’s assistant Prospero Grech in his first consistory and Raniero Cantalamessa in the upcoming consistory.

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