The 20 cardinals that Pope Francis selected come from 18 different countries including Capo Verde, Myanmar, and Tonga, which have never had cardinals before.
Pope Announces New Cardinals

On Sunday, January 4, during the Angelus, Pope Francis announced the selection of 20 new cardinals, 15 of whom are eligible to vote for a papal successor. While the additional five cardinals are too old to vote, according to Pope Francis they are, “distinguished for their pastoral charity in the service of the Holy See and of the Church.” 

The new cardinals are a diverse group. They come from 18 different countries that typically do not produce cardinals. The countries of Capo Verde, Myanmar, and Tonga, have never had cardinals before. Even Italy, which typically produces numerous cardinals from major cities like Turin and Venice, saw cardinals selected from smaller cities. Additionally, there is a large age range among the 20. The youngest new cardinal is 53-year-old Bishop Mafi from Tonga, while the oldest is 95-year-old Archbishop emeritus Pimiento Rodriguez of Manizales, Columbia.

“Let us pray for the new Cardinals,” said Pope Francis at the end of the announcement. “And with their pastoral experience they might support me more intensely in my apostolic service.”

These men will be raised to the Cardinalate on February 14, 2015. Click here to view the full list of names.

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