Pope Benedict XVI has called his first consistory, a meeting of all cardinals, on 24 and 25 March, during which he will create 15 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.

Of those who are due to be made cardinal 12 are under the age of 80 including Stanislaw Dziwisz, the archbishop of Krakow, who was personal secretary to Pope John Paul II. There are three members of the Roman Curia, William Levada, the prefect for the congregation of the doctrine of the faith, the job that Pope Benedict held until his election, Franc Rod head of the congregation of institutes of consecrated life and Agostino Vallini head of the supreme apostolic tribunal. Eight city archbishops are to be made cardinal; those from Toledo, Bordeaux, Boston, Bologna, and Caracas and three coming from the Far East, Hong Kong, Manila and Seul. The three over 80s who are to be made cardinal are Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, high preist of the basilica of S. Pauls outside the walls, Peter Poreku Der who was archbishop of Tamale in Ghana and Father Albert Vanhoye, secretary emeritus of the Pontifical Biblical commission.