Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia, will be one of 11 American cardinals in the papal conclave set to choose Pope Benedict XVI's successor.
Thursday marks the final day of Pope Benedict XVI's term, as he becomes the first leader of the Catholic Church to resign in six centuries.
Soon, the College of Cardinals will convene in the Vatican to elect a new pope. It will consist, by rule, of all cardinals who are younger than 80.
Two such cardinals are sitting out the conclave, which leaves 115 electors, according to a list curated by Florida International University and archived by the Library of Congress.
Other American cardinals younger than 80 joining the conclave with Rigali include the archbishops of Boston, New York, Washington, Chicago and Galveston-Houston, as well as an archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia is not a cardinal.
As for how many local people will be affected by the papal election, the Archdiocese maintains tables of census statistics on Catholics in the Philadelphia area.
As of the 2010 census, the following areas had total populations and registered Catholic populations as follows, according to archphila.org:Deanery Pop. Catholic pop. % Catholic 1-E. Delaware Co. 227,896 88,336 39% 2-W. Delaware Co. 339,311 118,700 35% 3-W. Chester Co., Oxford Region 296,979 79,214 27% 4-N. Chester Co. 219,561 75,022 34% 5-W. Montgomery Co. 413,760 133,000 32% 6-Main Line, Bridgeport, Roxborough 148,284 43,188 29% 7-E. Montgomery Co., NW Philadelphia 362,082 84,679 23%
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