Pope John Paul II
) created 231 cardinals
in nine consistories
held at roughly three-year intervals. Three of those cardinals were first created in pectore
, that is, without their names being announced, and only identified by the pope later. He named a fourth in pectore
as well but never revealed that name. At his 2001 consistory, where he elevated 42 prelates and announced the names of two created in pectore
earlier, he created more cardinals at one time than ever before or since. His consistories in 1985, 1994, and 2003 were among the largest ever.
In his first three consistories, John Paul adhered to the limit of 120 that Pope Paul VI
set on the number of cardinal electors in 1975. and he included that maximum when he reformed the papal conclave
procedures in 1996. His appointments exceeded that number for the first time in 1988 when the number of electors rose to 121, and then again in 1998 when it reached 122. In each of his last two consistories, in 2001 and 2003, he raised the number to 135, a figure not yet surpassed by his successors. Read more...