Pope Benedict XVI is planning to appoint a number of new cardinals in November, Earth Times said Monday. According to Rome-based daily Il Messagero, German Bishop Josef Cordes, 53, was likely to be among the appointees.

Mind you, the Vatican has not officially said they will be handing out red hats in the near future but rumors persist.

Cordes is the president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the Vatican aid organization, and has often been mentioned as a possible candidate for a cardinal’s office.

Other possible candidates were bishops from Brazil, France, the United States, Poland and Italy, the reports said.

Benedict intends to appoint at least 17 new cardinals, it was said.

According to the paper, there are currently some 182 cardinals worldwide, with 105 among them younger than 80 and so eligible to vote in papal elections.

Benedict appointed his first cardinals at the beginning of 2006.