2,908 Eligible to Be Council Fathers

There are 2,908 churchmen throughout the world eligible to serve as council Fathers, a directory published by the ecumenical council’s general secretariat has revealed.

Msgr. Fausto Vallainc, head of the council’s press office, has announced that of this number, 2,540 prelates actually came here for the council. Some have had to return home for various reasons.

The secretariat’s directory lists all prelates who had a right to serve as council Fathers as of Sept. 30, not those who have taken part in the council so far.

Italy, with 430 eligible council Fathers, has the most churchmen on the list. It is followed by the U.S. with 241, Brazil with 204 and France with 159.

Other countries with more than 50 eligible prelates are Canada, 97; Spain, 95; India, 84; Germany, 68; Argentina, 66; Mexico, 65; Poland, 64; and Colombia, 52.

Not identified as to country in the list are the 97 heads of religious orders who may serve as council Fathers.

Excluding them, there are 1,089 prelates from Europe eligible to serve, as well as 489 from South America, 404 from North America, 374 from Asia, 296 from Africa, 84 from Central America and 75 from Oceania.

There are eligible Fathers from 134 countries, the directory shows. Of these, 44 are in Africa, 31 in Europe, 23 in Asia, 15 in Central America and the Caribbean, 11 in South America, 6 in Oceania and 4 in North America, including Bermuda.

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