The Catholic Church Gets 17 New Cardinals, 3 From US. See The Full List Below

The Catholic Church Gets 17 New Cardinals, 3 From US. See The Full List Below

The Roman Catholic Church is set to get 17 new cardinals, with 11 of them coming from places that have never had a cardinal.


Pope Francis made the announcement of the new cardinals, expected in recent weeks, during his weekly Sunday address following the noon-time Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square.

Among the new cardinals chosen by Pope Francis are three U.S. bishops: Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich, Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin, and the newly appointed Vatican official Bishop Kevin Farrell. 

Pope Francis appointed Cupich to Chicago in September 2014. The native Nebraskan had previously served as the bishop of Spokane, Washington. Archbishop Joseph Tobin is a Redemptorist who previously served as the secretary for the Vatican’s religious congregation before being appointed to Indianapolis by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. Indianapolis has also never been represented in the College of Cardinals. Farrell, born in Ireland, had been serving as the bishop of Dallas before August, when Francis appointed him to lead the Vatican’s new Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. 

The new cardinals come from 11 different countries and 13 are under the age of 80, the age at which cardinals can no longer vote in conclave. 

Cardinals, sometimes known as the “princes of the church” and for their red vestments, are usually senior Catholic prelates who serve either as archbishops in the world’s largest dioceses or in the Vatican’s central bureaucracy. Their principal role is to gather in secret conclave after the death or resignation of a pope to elect his successor. 

Of the 17 new cardinals chosen by Pope Francis, four come from Europe, three from the U.S., three from Latin America, two from Africa, two from wider Asia, two from island nations, and one currently represents the church in the Middle East.

Eleven come from places that have never had a cardinal, including new cardinal electors: Archbishop Dieudonne Nzapalainga of Bangui, Central African Republic; Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario of Dhaka, Bangladesh; Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario of Merida, Venezuela; and, Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Tlalnepantla de Baz, Mexico. 

Two come from island nations not before represented, cardinal electors: Bishop Maurice Piat of Mauritius’ Port Louis and Archbishop John Ribat of Papua New Guinea’s Port Moresby. 

Pope Francis also named as a cardinal the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio, or ambassador, in Syria, Italian Archbishop Mario Zenari, saying in his remarks naming the cardinals that the country is “beloved and tormented.” 

The pope will elevate the new cardinals at a formal ceremony at the Vatican, known as a consistory, on Nov. 19, the vigil of the conclusion of the Jubilee year for mercy on Nov. 20. Pope Francis will then celebrate the concluding Mass of the Jubilee the next day with the new cardinals. 

Announcing the names of the new cardinals in remarks after his Angelus prayer Sunday, the pontiff said the group “expresses the universality of the church, which proclaims and witnesses to the Gospel of the Good News of the Mercy of God in every corner of the earth.” 

The remaining new cardinals under the age of 80 are: 
Madrid, Spain Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra Brasilia, Brazil Archbishop Sergio da Rocha, and; Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium Archbishop Jozef De Kesel. 

The four over the age of 80, all coming from places never before represented in the College, are: Retired Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Archbishop Anthony Soter Fernandez , Retired Novara, Italy Bishop Renato Corti , Retired Mohale’s Hoek, Lesotho Bishop Sebastian Koto Khoarai, and; Fr. Ernest Simoni, a priest of the archdiocese of Shkodër-Pult in Albania. 

November’s consistory will be Pope Francis’ third, following his creation of 20 cardinals in February 2015 and 19 in February 2014. After the upcoming consistory, Pope Francis will have named 44 of 123 cardinals able to vote in a papal conclave. Pope Francis spoke about his thought process in choosing new cardinals during a press conference on the papal flight back to Rome from Azerbaijan Oct. 2, saying his main concern was to have a balance of representation from around the world. The pope said his criteria for choosing cardinals is having some “from everywhere” so “you see in the College of Cardinals the universality of the church,” the pope said then. “The list is long but there are only 17 spots,” he said. “You have to think about having a balance.” 

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