Why Cardinal John Njue Will Lose His Right to Vote for the Pope in Future


Cardinal John Njue of the Catholic Church will be among the members of the college cardinals who are set to lose their right to vote for future pope in 2024.

Njue will lose his voting right on December 31, 2024, after attaining the maximum age of 80.

He joins the 13-member list of cardinals from Africa and the rest of the world who will no longer be eligible to vote for the future pope.

Dar Es Salaam’s Archbishop Polycarp Pengu and Nigerian’s Archbishop John Onayeikan are also joining the Kenyan cardinal in losing their voting powers.

A photo of Pope Francis addressing an audience

Photo

CBCEW

Unless a cardinal dies or is excluded by the pope, he is eligible to vote.

However, in the last five decades, changes have been made. The rule now is that only cardinals under 80 years are allowed to vote.

With this, the number of cardinals eligible to elect a pope will be 119 in 2024.

This number is one less than the theoretical maximum, set by Paul VI in 1975, of 120 electors in the college.

Njue was named to the College of Cardinals by Pope Benedict XVI on November 24, 2007, a month after being appointed by the pope, and has held voting rights ever since.

Even though he retired in 2022, after attaining the retirement age of 75 his powers were not whittled down.

The Vatican announced his retirement after Pope Francis accepted his letter but did not immediately name his successor

Pope Francis appointed Rt Rev David Kamau who was by then the current Nairobi Auxiliary Bishop as the Apostolic Administrator of Nairobi Archdiocese and has served since then.

Catholic priests during a past event

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