Pope Names 15 Cardinals

Archbishop Van Nhon, 76, was among the 20 new cardinals named by Pope Francis Jan. 4. (CNS photo/Kham, Reuters)

Underscoring the geographical diversity of his selections, Pope Francis named 15 cardinal electors “from 14 nations of every continent, showing the inseparable link between the church of Rome and the particular churches present in the world.” The pope announced the names on Jan. 4 and said he would formally induct the men into the College of Cardinals on Feb. 14. With these selections, the pope continues giving gradually more representation at the highest levels of the church to the poorer countries in the global south. The new cardinals will include the first in history from Cape Verde, Tonga and Myanmar. Three of the new cardinal electors hail from Asia, three from Latin America, two from Africa and two from Oceania. Of the five Europeans on the list, three lead dioceses in Italy and Spain that have not traditionally had cardinals as bishops—another sign of Pope Francis’ willingness to break precedent. None of the new cardinals hails from the United States or Canada.

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