06 Pope Francis creates 14 new Cardinals

posted Jul 5, 2018, 10:49 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2018, 10:49 AM ]
Pope Francis created 14 new cardinals at a consistory ceremony at the Vatican on June 29, the feast of Sts Peter and Paul.

Pope Francis said these new cardinals, who hail from 11 countries - Iraq, Poland, Pakistan, Portugal, Peru, Madagascar, Japan, Mexico, Bolivia, Spain and Italy - express "the universality of the Church."

Cardinals under the age of 80 are eligible to take part in a conclave when the time comes to elect a new pope. Eleven of the 14 who received their distinctive red biretta, ring and title are under the age of 80. With this latest batch of new cardinals, Francis created 59 of the 125 voting cardinals. His predecessors, St John Paul II and retired Pope Benedict XVI, created 19 and 47 cardinals, respectively.

Pope Francis normally does not alert his chosen bishops before the official announcement. His previous choices for cardinals have surprised Vatican watchers in the past. This group, however, includes some bishops who hold high-profile Church positions, like Luis F. Ladaria and Angelo De Donatis.

The 11 new cardinals under the age of 80, who will be active participants in a future conclave, are: Iraqi Chaldean Catholic patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako who has continued to stand by the dwindling Christian population in his war-torn country; Pakistan's Joseph Coutts, known for his efforts in promoting Christian-Muslim dialogue in his country where less than 2 per cent of the population is Christian; Pedro Barreto of Huancayo who has continuously called for responsible mining practices in Peru and warned against the harmful effects of pollution on the poor and the environment; and Polish cardinal Konrad Krajewski, who has worked tirelessly to distribute papal aid to help the poor and homeless in Rome.

The total number of cardinals are 227, of whom 125 are under 80, meaning able to vote for a new pope. That's well above the traditional ceiling of 120 electors established under Blessed Pope Paul VI. This is Pope Francis' fifth consistory.