Pope Francis Announces Surprise: More Than 20 New Cardinals Are Named

Pope Francis announced over 20 new Cardinals recently, expanding and diversifying the College of Cardinals. These appointments show the Pope’s commitment to inclusivity, his efforts to promote dialog and bridge gaps in the Catholic Church and his commitment towards inclusivity. The cardinals come from all over the world: Europe, Asia and Africa. They demonstrate the Church’s global nature, as well as the importance of having a diverse representation. The Pope has emphasized the importance of the Church in addressing global issues such as poverty, injustice and environmental concerns.

In appointing such a large number of new Cardinals, Pope Francis has ensured not only that the College of Cardinals is more diverse but also that voices from all walks of life will be heard. The new cardinals have a wealth of experience, both in pastoral work and in their involvement with societal issues. Their inclusion is expected to bring new ideas and perspectives to discussions and decision making processes within the church, resulting in a more representative and inclusive hierarchy. Pope Francis called for greater laity participation and sought to make Church more responsive. These new appointments align with Pope Francis’ vision for an inclusive and compassionate church that is committed towards the well-being, regardless of background or circumstance.

VATICAN CITY Pope Francis said that at the end of this month he will name 21 new cardinals, from all over the world. He wants to make his mark on papacy.

The next assembly of cardinals is scheduled for 30 September and is known as a consistory. It will be the ninth one for the 86 year old pontiff who was elected leader of the Catholic Church on March 2013. He wants to leave a lasting mark on the institution.

CLERGYMEN IN CRIMSON Pope Francis prays in front of newly created cardinals during the consistory inside St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Aug. 27, 2022. AP FILE PHOTO

CLERGYMEN IN CRIMSON Pope Francis prayed in front newly created cardinals inside St. Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican, on Aug. 27, 2020. AP FILE PHOTO

“Their provenance expresses the universality of the Church that continues to proclaim God’s merciful love to all people on earth,” The pope said this after his weekly Sunday Angelus prayers from the Apostolic Palace on Saint Peter’s Square.

Francis’ new decisions are closely watched to see if they reflect the Catholic Church’s priorities and future direction for its 1.3 million faithful.

All cardinals who are younger than 80 years old, including 18 of the group announced on Sunday, will be known as “cardinal electors,” Who will be voting to elect the successor of the Pope?

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137 electors will remain after the consistory on September 30. Around three quarters will have been nominated by Francis.

Francis, the pope since his election, has been working to promote clergy from countries far from Rome into the highest ranks of Church. This is part of Francis’s general philosophy of diversity.

Francis named clergy from Latin America, Africa, and Asia, among other regions with growing Christian populations.

Archbishops from Juba, South Sudan; Cape Town, South Africa; and Tabora (Tanzania) are all expected to be made cardinals.

Stephen Chow Sau Yan, a Harvard University-educated psychologist with a doctorate in psychology, is also on the list. He will play a key role in improving the Church’s strained ties to communist China.

Italy’s Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and the top Catholic in the Holy Land — whose archdiocese encompasses Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Cyprus — will also be inducted.

Francis also appoints the heads of dicasteries including the Italian Claudio Gugerotti who is currently prefect of the Dicastery of the Eastern Churches and the Argentine Victor Manuel Fernandez chosen by the pope earlier this month to lead the powerful Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith.

Robert Prevost was named as the head of the Dicastery for Bishops. He is responsible for overseeing the appointment of new bishops. Robert Prevost has been a missionary for many years in Peru. Also named was Christophe Pierre from France, who was also the Holy See’s apostolic ambassador to the United States.

Latin America includes the emeritus Archbishop of Cumana in Venezuela, the archbishop Cordoba of Argentina, and a 96 year old Capuchin priest of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Francis’s last consistory, which took place in August of 2022, saw the induction of 20 cardinals.

Cardinals who wear scarlet robes as part of their official duties are the most important advisers and administrators for the pope.

During consistory, future cardinals are seated one-by-one at the feet the pope. He places on the heads of each one the four-cornered scarlet cap or biretta.

After the ceremony, there is a traditional Vatican reception. “courtesy visit,” The new cardinals welcome the public.