Pope Benedict XVI is expected to call his first consistory, a meeting of all cardinals, on 24 and 25 March, during which he is likely to create a number of new cardinals. At present there are a total of 178 but only 110 under the age of 80, and therefore eligible to vote for a new pope. There were 115 cardinals in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict on 19 April 2005.

Among those who may be promoted are Stanislaw Dziwisz, the archbishop of Krakow, who was personal secretary to Pope John Paul II, and archbishops of several major cities including Paris, Boston, Dublin, Nairobi and La Paz. Added to these are several members of the Vatican curia, including William Joseph Levada who succeeded Pope Benedict as head of the pontifical council for the doctrine of the faith.