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10 October 2016

Pope Francis names 17 new cardinals of the Catholic Church

cardinalsPope Francis has named 17 new cardinals of the Catholic Church, including 13 who are eligible to vote to elect his successor when he resigns or dies.

The new cardinals are mainly from developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The appointments on Sunday emphasise the growing influence at the Vatican of clerics from the developing world.

Only one of the new cardinals is from Italy, the nation that has dominated church politics for centuries.

Pope Francis, who celebrates his 80th birthday in December, is putting down important markers for the future of the Catholic Church.

Three of those named are American, his first promotions of US clerics to key positions in the church. They include the recently appointed archbishops of Chicago and Indianapolis.

The move reflects the success of Pope Francis’ first visit to North America last year.

Cardinals are the most senior members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy after the pope.

It is the third time Pope Francis has appointed new cardinals since his election in 2013 as the first Latin American to lead the Roman Catholic Church.

Source: BBC

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