Pope Francis on Sunday named his first batch of cardinals, choosing 19 men from Asia, Africa, and elsewhere, including Haiti and Burkino Faso, to reflect his attention to the poor.
Pope Francis made the announcement as he spoke from his studio window to a crowd in St. Peter’s Square.
Sixteen of the appointees are younger than 80, meaning they are eligible to elect the next pope, which is a cardinal’s most important task.
The ceremony to formally install them as cardinals will be held February 22, at the Vatican.
Some appointments were expected, including that of his new secretary of state, the Italian archbishop Pietro Parolin, and the German head of the Vatican’s watchdog office for doctrinal orthodoxy, Gerhard Ludwig Mueller. But some names were surprising.
Vatican spokesman the Rev Federico Lombardi, said the pope’s selection of churchmen from Haiti and Burkino Faso, which are among the world’s poorest nations, reflects Pope Francis’ attention to the destitute as a core part of the church’s mission.
Also chosen to become a “prince of the church”, as the cardinals are known, was Mario Aurelio Poli, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, a post Pope Francis left when he was elected as the first Latin American pope in March.
His selections also came from Managua, Nicaragua; Santiago, Chile; and Rio de Janeiro. The appointees included churchmen from Seoul, South Korea, and the archbishop of Westminster, in Britain, Vincent Nichols.
In a sentimental touch, the three men too old to vote for the next pope include 98-year-old Monsignor Loris Francesco Capovilla, who had served as personal secretary to Pope John XXIII. The late pontiff will be made a saint along with John Paul II at the Vatican in April.
List of 19 new cardinals
The following is a list of 19 churchmen that Pope Francis will install as new cardinals in a Vatican ceremony on Feb. 22.
Pietro Parolin, Titular Archbishop of Acquapendente, Secretary of State.
Lorenzo Baldisseri, Titular Archbishop of Diocleziana, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.
Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, Archbishop—Bishop emeritus of Regensburg, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Beniamino Stella, Titular Archbishop of Midila, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.
Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, United Kingdom.
Leopoldo Jose Brenes Solorzano, Archbishop of Managua, Nicaragua.
Gerald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Quebec, Canada.
Jean—Pierre Kutwa, Archbishop of Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Orani Joao Tempesta, O.Cist., Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro.
Gualtiero Bassetti, Archbishop of Perugia—Citta della Pieve, Italy.
Mario Aurelio Poli, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Andrew Yeom Soo jung, Archbishop of Seoul, South Korea.
Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, S.D.B., Archbishop of Santiago del Cile, Chile.
Philippe Nakellentuba Ouedraogo, Archbishop of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Orlando B. Quevedo, O.M.I., Archbishop of Cotabato, Philippines.
Chibly Langlois, Bishop of Les Cayes, Haiti.
Loris Francesco Capovilla, Titular Archbishop of Mesembria.
Fernando Sebastian Aguilar, C.M.F., Archbishop emeritus of Pamplona.
Kelvin Edward Felix, Archbishop emeritus of Castries