5 very diverse new cardinals announced – none Italian

The names of five new cardinals from five very different countries were announced yesterday.

Pope Francis says on 28 June he will hold a consistory to appoint the cardinals,  who come from El Salvador, Laos, Mali, Spain and Sweden. They will add diversity to the church, Francis says.

Apart from Spain, none of the countries has ever had a cardinal before.

The new cardinals are:

73-year-old Archbishop Jean Sevo from Mali;

71-year-old Archbishop Juan Jose Omella from Spain;

67-year-old Bishop Anders Arborelius from Sweden;

73-year-old Vicar Apostolic Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun from Laos;

74-year-old Auxiliary Archbishop Gregorio Rosa Chavez from El Salvador.

The cardinals’ diversity expresses the “Catholicity of the church, diffused throughout the earth,” Francis said.

Francis is known for his concern for church to look to the peripheries and bring them to the center.

In this respect, the new cardinals have much in common with others Francis has appointed. Many are also from “far-flung, often overlooked dioceses where Catholics are a distinct minority”.

The new cardinals are also joining a number of others who are eligible to vote for the next pope. All five are currently well under the age of 80.

(Francis has been increasing the pool of eligible voters for some years. Of the 19 new cardinals he created in 2014, 16 are under 80.)

The new cardinals roles will include working as papal advisors.

The new cardinals and Francis will say Mass together the day after they are appointed. It will be the feast of Saints Peter and Paul.


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