Pope Francis names 21 new cardinals

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Pope Francis announced on Sunday that he would appoint 21 new cardinals, including one based in Mongolia.

Francis made the surprise announcement after his Sunday noon blessing to thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square.

By appointing cardinals in Singapore, Mongolia, India and East Timor, Francis appears to be seeking to increase the Church’s prestige and clout in Asia, a growing economic and political powerhouse.

The Pope has once again put his stamp on the Roman Catholic Church’s future by elevating more men from the developing world to the high rank.

Sixteen of the 21 are cardinal electors under 80 and eligible to enter a conclave to elect his successor from among themselves after his death or resignation.

Eleven of the electors are from, or based in, countries outside Europe or North America.

Cardinals rank second only to the pope in the Church hierarchy and serve as his closest advisors at home and around the world.

Due to their historical power and influence, they are still called the Princes of the Church, although Francis has told them not to live like royalty and to be close to the poor.

List of the 21 new cardinals

  1. Archbishop Arthur Roche (British) – Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
  2. Archbishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik (South Korean) – Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy
  3. Archbishop Fernando Vérgez Alzaga (Spanish) – President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and President of the Governorate for Vatican City State
  4. Archbishop Jean-Marc Aveline – Metropolitan Archbishop of Marseille, France
  5. Bishop Peter Okpaleke – Bishop of Ekwulobia, Nigeria
  6. Archbishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner – Metropolitan Archbishop of Manaus, Brazil
  7. Archbishop Filipe Neri António Sebastião di Rosário Ferrão – Archbishop of Goa and Damão, India
  8. Bishop Robert Walter McElroy – Bishop of San Diego, California, United States
  9. Archbishop Virgilio Do Carmo Da Silva – Archbishop of Dili, East Timor
  10. Bishop Oscar Cantoni – Bishop of Como, Italy
  11. Archbishop Anthony Poola – Archbishop of Hyderabad, India
  12. Archbishop Paulo Cezar Costa – Metropolitan Archbishop of Brasília, Brazil
  13. Bishop Richard Kuuia Baawobr – Bishop of Wa, Ghana
  14. Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye – Archbishop of Singapore
  15. Archbishop Adalberto Martínez Flores – Metropolitan Archbishop of Asunción, Paraguay
  16. Archbishop Giorgio Marengo (Italian) – Apostolic Prefect of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

New cardinals over 80:

1. Archbishop Jorge Enrique Jiménez Carvajal – Archbishop Emeritus of Cartagena, Colombia

2. Archbishop Lucas Van Looy – Archbishop Emeritus of Gent, Belgium

3. Archbishop Arrigo Miglio – Archbishop Emeritus of Cagliari, Italy

4. Fr. Gianfranco Ghirlanda, S.J. – Professor of Theology

5. Msgr. Fortunato Frezza – Canon of Saint Peter’s Basilica

One significant appointment in the rich world was that of Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, California, seen as a progressive.

By giving San Diego its first cardinal, Francis bypassed conservative archbishops in the larger cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles.

After the Aug. 27 ceremony to officially install them, known as a consistory, Francis will have appointed about 82 of some 132 cardinal electors, increasing the possibility that his successor will be a man reflecting his positions on key issues.

By then the first pope from Latin America will have appointed about 63% of cardinal electors, further increasing their presence in the developing world, and again loosening the grip Europe had for centuries on the College of Cardinals.

It will be the eighth consistory since Francis, 85, was elected in 2013 and with each, he has continued what one diplomat on Sunday called “a tilt towards Asia,” increasing the likelihood that the next pope could be from the region.


Reuters/Zainab Sa’id





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