Speculation on cardinalatial consistories is generally even more abstract than speculating on papal conclaves, but the UK Telegraph‘s Damian Thompson has made a worthy effort. Of course he focuses primarily on the Archbishop of Westminster, but he discusses all of the likely candidates for the galero. And since I am happy to post any reasonable forecast about the day our beloved Archbishop Burke is made a Cardinal, here is an excerpt from the full article:
[…] But when will that third consistory of this pontificate be held?
As the papal diary currently stands, the end of the third full week in November (Saturday/Sunday, 21/22) is the only time this year when Pope Benedict might conveniently schedule it, just as it was that last time, in 2007. And there are good reasons to presume that it WILL be held this year.
Irrespective of when it is held, we already know who two of the new cardinals must be: Archbishops Angelo Amato and Raymond Leo Burke, the Prefects, respectively, of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and of the Apostolic Signatura. The provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus require that the prelates appointed to these positions are cardinals, or, if they are not, they must be elevated at the next consistory. And in that latter case, until recently the appointee would be named as Pro-Prefect. Thankfully, Pope Benedict has done away with this elaborate charade.
Knowing of the loyalty and great affection His Holiness has always shown to his former colleagues, it is certain that to Archbishop Amato, who served under him as Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), will go the signal honour associated with being number one on the list of new cardinals, the privilege of addressing the Supreme Pontiff on behalf of all the new cardinals at the public consistory on the Saturday morning.
And it is precisely because Joseph Ratzinger spent almost a quarter of a century as Cardinal Prefect of the CDF, thereby acquiring a keen awareness of the necessity of a Prefect being able to speak with all the fullness of authority that only membership of the Sacred College of Cardinals confers, that as Pope he is unlikely to long delay according these worthy curial prelates that dignity.
Currently, there are 115 cardinal electors. Barring the intervention of the Grim Reaper, by November the roll will decrease by just two more as two distinguished cardinals in curia attain their 80th birthdays: Francesco Cardinal Marchisano (June 25) and Dario Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos (July 4), Presidents, respectively, of the Labour Office of the Apostolic See and of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. Thus, come a November consistory, there would be seven new cardinal electors to be created.