List of current cardinals
Cardinals are senior ecclesiastical leaders of the Catholic Church, almost always ordained bishops and generally holding important roles within the church, such as governing prominent archdioceses or managing dicasteries within the Roman Curia. They are created in consistories by the pope and one of their foremost duties is the election of a new pope (invariably from among themselves, although not a formal requirement) when the Holy See is vacant, following the death or the resignation of the reigning pontiff. The body of all cardinals is collectively known as the College of Cardinals.
Under current ecclesiastical law, as defined by the apostolic constitution Universi Dominici gregis, only cardinals who have not passed their 80th birthday on the day on which the Holy See falls vacant are eligible to participate in a papal conclave to elect a new pope. The same apostolic constitution also specifies a maximum of 120 cardinal electors who can participate in a conclave; this number has often been exceeded, although never at the time of a conclave. Cardinals may also be created in pectore (reserved 'in the breast'), in which case their identities are not publicly revealed by the pope; they do not enjoy the privileges of a cardinal until their names are published. The creations of any such cardinals who have not been revealed at the pope's death or resignation automatically lapse.
As of 3 October 2021,[update] there are 215 cardinals, 121 of whom are cardinal electors. The most recent consistory for the creation of cardinals was held on 28 November 2020, when Pope Francis created 13 cardinals, including 9 cardinal electors. Beniamino Stella was the most recent cardinal elector to turn 80, on 18 August 2021; Angelo Scola will be the next cardinal elector to turn 80, on 7 November 2021. Jorge Medina was the most recent cardinal to die, on 3 October 2021, at the age of 94.