In naming 23 new cardinals on Wednesday, Pope Benedict XVI chose to acknowledge one bit of demographic reality, but largely ignored a much bigger one. ...Read Mr. Allen's entire post to learn his reasons and gain a clearer understanding of the makeup of the Catholic Church today.
To put this into a sound bite, two-thirds of the cardinals come from the global North, while two-thirds of the Catholic people live in the South.
Such disparities do not go unnoticed. The pope's announcement was made at roughly 11:30 a.m. Rome time, and within a half-hour I had an e-mail from La Tercera, a newspaper in Santiago, Chile, asking for a reaction to the following question: "Two-thirds of the nominees are from Western Europe or the U.S. Why?"
Why indeed? At least three reasons suggest themselves.
Wiki-image of distribution of Christianity (see link for color coding) used according to the terms of the GNU Free Documentation license.