Will Chaput Become a Cardinal by Pope’s Visit?

Report: Archbishop merits "serious consideration" for elevation.

Archbishop Charles Chaput. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Archbishop Charles Chaput. Photo | Jeff Fusco

CatholicCulture.org notes that Pope Francis will name a new round of cardinals in February, and weighs the chances of Americans eligible to be elevated. Among them, it says, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput merits “serious consideration.”

Three of America’s largest and most historic archdioceses—Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago—are currently headed by archbishops rather than cardinals. In each case the archdiocese also has a retired archbishop who is under the age of 80, and it is very unusual to allow two cardinals representing the same city into a papal conclave. But in each case there are some special circumstances.

In Philadelphia, retired Cardinal Justin Rigali will turn 80 in April of next year. So if Archbishop Charles Chaput received a red hat, Philadelphia would have two cardinal-electors for only a few weeks. Having taken the helm of the Philadelphia archdiocese in 2011, tackled tough financial problems and sex-abuse scandals, and emerged as one of the leading public voices of the American hierarchy, Archbishop Chaput certainly merits serious consideration for a red hat. And keep in mind that Pope Francis will be visiting Philadelphia next year, to participate in the World Meeting of Families. It might be appropriate for a cardinal to serve as his host.

Philadelphia hosts the World Meeting of Families — and a Parkway Mass by Pope Francis — in September.