Pope Francis has not yet named an American cardinal, but many church watchers expect that to change soon. Chicago’s Archbishop Blasé Cupich is considered on the short list as well as Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez, Philadelphia’s Charles Chaput and Dallas’ Kevin Farrell.
Since the death of Cardinal Francis George in April 2015, Chicago has been without a Cardinal. Pope Francis has been more nontraditional in his appointments, but adding to the speculation, Francis selected Cupich to join the Vatican’s Congregation of Bishops.
Insiders are looking to perhaps a November consistory timed before the end of the Jubilee of Mercy on Sunday November 20th. A consistory is a Latin word for “stand together.”
There is no guarantee that Cupich will be in the next class, however in July he was named to one of the most influential positions as one of only 30 members of the Congregation of Bishops. It considers new bishops’ appointments to the pope and the position means Cupich will travel more frequently to Rome.
Earlier this week, the Jesuit magazine America predicted Pope Francis will hold his third consistory before the end of the year and create at least 13 new cardinals. America notes the pope has been working this summer on the possible choices with an announcement by mid-October.
If not November, the next likelihood for the cardinal elevation is February 2017.