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News > World

Pope Names New Cardinals Working in Poor, Minority Areas

  • Pope Francis attends a meeting at the diocese of Rome at Saint John Lateran Basilica in Rome, Italy May 14, 2018.

    Pope Francis attends a meeting at the diocese of Rome at Saint John Lateran Basilica in Rome, Italy May 14, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 May 2018

The pontiff announced 14 new cardinal electors, choosing those in poor and minority Christian areas. 

In a surprise announcement, Pope Francis is elevating 14 clerics from five continents to cardinalship, selecting those working with the poor or where Catholics are the minority.

These 'cardinal electors' will choose the pontiff’s next in line in the event Francis resigns or dies.

Pope Meets With Chilean Bishops Over Pedophile Coverup

During Sunday mass, the pope said the newly named cardinals from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Iraq, Pakistan, Japan, Madagascar, Peru, Mexico and Bolivia will be sworn in on June 29.

This makes the church's total number of cardinal electors 125, five more than the limit Pope Paul VI set for a conclave - the committee that selects the leader of the Catholic church. So far, Francis has named nearly half of the conclave that will decide his successor.

Christians in Iraq and Pakistan face increased killings and discrimination and by naming priests practicing in these countries, the pope is hoping to send a message of support.

Poland's Konrad Krajewski - head of the Vatican alms office - has overseen numerous efforts to help the homeless in Rome, setting up outdoor showers.

Two other Vatican officials were also bumped up in rank: Spanish Bishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, head of the Vatican's doctrinal department, and Italian Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the deputy secretary of state.

Though there are Vatican members on his list, Francis has looked further afield for his top prelates.

The full list of new cardinal electors is:

Louis Raphaël I Sako, 69, Chaldean Catholic patriarch of Babylon; Angelo De Donatis, 64, vicar general of Rome; Joseph Coutts, 72, archbishop of Karachi; António dos Santos Marto, 71, bishop of Leiria-Fatima; Pedro Barreto, 74, archbishop of Huancayo, Peru; Desiré Tsarahazana, 63, archbishop of Toamasina, Madagascar; Giuseppe Petrocchi, 69, archbishop of L'Aquila; Thomas Aquinas Manyo, 69, archbishop of Osaka, Japan; Spanish bishop Luis Ladaria, 74; Konrad Krajewski, 54, from Poland; Italian archbishop Angelo Becciu, 69.

Today’s unexpected announcement follows the unprecedented resignation of 34 Chilean bishops on Friday after a papal meeting related to decades of covering-up a pedophilic bishop, Fernando Karadima, found guilty and exiled by the church in 2011. It’s unclear if any of the resigned bishops will face civil charges.

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