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Pope Francis Names 21 New Cardinals, With a Focus Past Europe

Pope Francis introduced Sunday that he would create 21 new cardinals in September, selecting clerics from the world over to strengthen the church’s international attain, as he has finished with previous selections.

“The place they arrive from expresses the universality of the church, which continues to proclaim the merciful love of God to all folks of the earth,” Francis mentioned Sunday on the finish of his weekly prayer and blessing in St. Peter’s Sq. in Vatican Metropolis. The addition of the brand new cardinals exhibits “the inseparable bond” between the pope and “native church buildings unfold all through the world,” he mentioned.

The listing of latest “princes of the church,” as cardinals are referred to as, contains prelates from america, Hong Kong, Argentina, Colombia, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania and Malaysia, reflecting Francis’ deliberate shift away from Europe in molding the school that can elect his successor. Of the 131 cardinals Francis has created throughout his 10-year papacy, together with this newest batch, about half are from Africa, Asia and South America.

The one North American is Msgr. Robert Francis Prevost, who beforehand served as head of the worldwide Augustinian order and was a bishop between 2014 and final 12 months in Peru. Because the just lately appointed prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops, which recommends monks whom the pope will make bishops, he holds one of the crucial influential positions on the Vatican.

Two different just lately appointed prefects have been additionally named as cardinals on Sunday. Msgr. Claudio Gugerotti, a former papal nunzio in half a dozen international locations, together with Ukraine and Britain, was named prefect of the Dicastery for Oriental Church buildings in January. And simply over per week in the past, Francis appointed Msgr. Víctor Manuel Fernandez, an archbishop from La Plata, Argentina, as prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Religion, making him the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog and in addition answerable for overseeing the workplace that evaluations and units self-discipline for confirmed allegations of clerical sexual abuse.

A longtime Vatican diplomat who’s the Vatican’s ambassador to america, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, initially from France, was additionally named cardinal.

Francis additionally selected Stephen Chow Sau-yan, bishop of Hong Kong, who earlier this 12 months visited mainland China in an try and construct bridges and promote exchanges on the bumpy path of rapprochement between China and the Vatican, and Msgr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, who’s the Vatican’s prime official within the Center East.

Chatting with the 15,000 individuals who had gathered beneath a blistering solar in St. Peter’s Sq. on Sunday, the pope expressed “sorrow” over renewed bloodshed within the Holy Land, referring to the Israeli navy incursion within the West Financial institution metropolis of Jenin final week that left 12 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier lifeless.

“I hope that the Israeli and Palestinian leaders can resume direct dialogue to convey an finish to the spiral of violence and open paths of reconciliation and peace,” he mentioned.

The Faculty of Cardinals is answerable for the election of a pope, and its composition naturally impacts the choice of future pontiffs. Of the 21 newly chosen males, 18 are beneath 80, the cutoff age for voting on a brand new pope as soon as Francis dies or retires.

Within the Nineteen Seventies, Pope Paul VI restricted the variety of cardinals beneath 80, and thus eligible for a papal vote, to 120. Pope John Paul II exceeded that restrict in 2001, although the quantity was again right down to 115 by the point he died in 2005. With the addition of the latest cardinals, Francis has bumped the variety of vote-eligible cardinals to 137.

Francis has promoted a pastoral imaginative and prescient of the Roman Catholic Church, one which reaches out to marginalized folks like migrants, the poor and people who are probably the most weak to the influence of local weather change, one other of the pope’s foremost considerations.

After the consistory — because the ceremony to put in the brand new cardinals is understood — on Sept. 30, Francis can have appointed the overwhelming majority of the long run cardinal electors, growing the chance that his successor will replicate not less than elements of that imaginative and prescient.

The consistory falls just a few days earlier than a main Vatican gathering of bishops and laypeople the place varied points shall be mentioned, just like the function of girls within the church and the steps the church can take to higher welcome homosexual males, lesbians and folks within the transgender group.


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