Pope Francis names 21 new cardinals from across the world

The latest consistory comes as Francis continues to handpick those who would choose his successor

Pope Francis (Photo: DW)
Pope Francis (Photo: DW)


Pope Francis announced on Sunday 21 churchmen, representing different regions of the world, would be formally installed as cardinals at a consistory to be held in the Vatican at the end of September.

Of the 21 new cardinals, 18 are under 80 years old and would be eligible to take part in a papal conclave to elect a new pope.

This will be the ninth time the pope named new cardinals since he became the head of the Catholic Church a decade ago.

He has now chosen over two-thirds of the Vatican's more than 130 cardinals eligible to elect a new pope.

Increasingly, the men who will vote for whoever succeeds Francis, in the event of his resignation or death, are churchmen who align with his values, priorities, and perspectives, and share his vision for the future of the Catholic Church.

Who is the pope appointing?

When choosing who to appoint as cardinal, Francis has mostly focused on promoting clergy from developing nations, contrasting his predecessors, whose choices were largely eurocentric.

The new cardinals include include Hong Kong Bishop Stephen Sau-yan Chow and the Vatican's top official in the Middle East, Monsignor Pierbattista Pizzaballa of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Among the archbishops to become cardinals are those of Juba in South Sudan, Cape Town in South Africa, and Tabora in Tanzania. Included from Latin America is the emeritus archbishop of Cumana, Venezuela, the archbishop of Cordoba, Argentina, and a 96-year-old Capuchin priest from Buenos Aires.

"Their provenance expresses the universality of the Church that continues to proclaim God's merciful love to all people on earth," said the pope, following his weekly Sunday Angelus prayer from the window of the Apostolic Palace on Saint Peter's Square.

The ceremony to install them, or the consistory, will be held on September 30.

Pope Francis's last consistory was held in August 2022, and saw him announce 20 cardinals.

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