Pope Francis to appoint 19 new cardinals

Pope Francis waves as he leads the Angelus prayer from the window of the apostolic palace in St Peter's Square at the Vatican, 12 January Pope Francis named his new cardinals during his Sunday address

Pope Francis is to appoint 19 new cardinals next month, including churchmen from Haiti and Burkina Faso, reflecting his commitment to the poor.

Cardinals, who wear red hats and robes, are the most senior clergymen in the Roman Catholic Church below the Pope.

Sixteen of the new appointees are under 80, making them eligible to enter a conclave to elect the Pope's successor.

The new cardinals will be formally instated at a ceremony, known as a consistory, on 22 February.

Analysis

Some of the new cardinals are very well-known figures, who would have been almost automatic choices - not least the Vatican's newly appointed secretary of state, Archbishop Pietro Parolin.

But others from more remote corners of the Catholic world are much less familiar. The Vatican's brief biographies give just the barest outline of their careers.

But we know the type of men that Pope Francis is likely to have gone looking for.

They would have been clerics who have demonstrated a readiness to immerse themselves in the lives and problems of the believers around them.

Pope Francis admires priests who, in his words, "smell of their flock".

And his new appointees from places like Haiti and Burkina Faso will surely know all about the hardship and poverty endured by many Catholics in Africa and the Americas.

The three clergymen over 80 come from Spain, Italy and the Caribbean island of St Lucia. They will assume the title cardinal emeritus.

'Humbling moment'

Pope Francis named his new cardinals during his weekly, Sunday address to worshippers gathered in St Peter's Square.

They come from all corners of the world, including Italy, Germany, Britain, Nicaragua, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea, Chile and the Philippines.

As expected, a few of those named are very well-known, established figures at the Vatican, says the BBC's Alan Johnston in Rome.

But among those chosen are also men from countries like Haiti, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso.

The Vatican spokesman said that this was in keeping with the Pope's drive to put the world's poor at the core of the Church's mission.

The Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols has been named as one of the new cardinals, and said he was deeply moved by what he called the honour conferred by the Pope on the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

"Personally this is a humbling moment," he said.

The 19 new Cardinals

  • Archbishop Pietro Parolin (Italy)
  • Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri (Italy)
  • Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller (Germany)
  • Archbishop, Beniamino Stella (Italy)
  • Archbishop Vincent Nichols (Britain)
  • Archbishop Leopoldo José Brenes Solórzano (Nicaragua)
  • Archbishop Gérald Cyprien Lacroix (Canada)
  • Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa (Ivory Coast)
  • Archbishop Orani João Tempesta (Brazil)
  • Archbishop Gualtiero Bassetti (Italy)
  • Archbishop Mario Aurelio Poli (Argentina)
  • Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo Jung (South Korea)
  • Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello (Chile)
  • Archbishop Philippe Nakellentuba Ouédraogo (Burkina Faso)
  • Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo (Philippines)
  • Archbishop Chibly Langlois (Haiti)
  • Monsignor Loris Francesco Capovilla (Italy) *
  • Archbishop Fernando Sebastián Aguilar (Spain) *
  • Monsignor Kelvin Edward Felix (St Lucia) *

* Cardinal emeritus, without voting rights

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