Pope Francis names 21 new cardinals

Pope Francis has announced he would elevate 21 churchmen to the high rank of cardinal, again putting his mark on the group that will one day choose his successor after his death or resignation.

The ceremony to install them, known as a consistory, will be held on September 30, the 86-year-old Francis announced on Sunday during his noon prayer to pilgrims and tourists in St Peter’s Square.

Eighteen of the churchmen are under 80 and would be able to enter an eventual conclave to choose the next pope. The other three, who are over 80 and too old to vote in the conclave, were named in thanks for their long service to the Church.

All cardinals, regardless of their age, are allowed to take part in pre-conclave meetings known as General Congregations, giving them a say in the type of pope they think their younger brother cardinals should choose.

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The new cardinals come from countries including the United States, Italy, Argentina, South Africa, Spain, Colombia, South Sudan, Hong Kong, Poland, Malaysia, Tanzania and Portugal.

Three of the new cardinals were recently named as heads of major Vatican departments, including Argentine Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, head of the Vatican’s doctrinal department.

Source: Aljazeera.com


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