April 23, 2024 2:30 pm
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Exciting Announcement: Pope Francis Set to Appoint New Cardinals in September

Pope Francis Set to Appoint 21 New Cardinals in September

In an announcement made on Sunday, Pope Francis revealed his plan to create 21 new cardinals from various parts of the world at the end of September. Speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace on Saint Peter’s Square after his weekly Sunday Angelus prayer, the pope emphasized that the selection of these new cardinals represents the universality of the Catholic Church’s message of God’s merciful love to all people on earth.

“Their provenance expresses the universality of the Church that continues to proclaim God’s merciful love to all people on earth,”

This upcoming consistory will mark the ninth time Pope Francis appoints cardinals during his papacy, which is now in its tenth year. The names he chooses hold significant weight as they give an indication of the future direction and priorities of the Catholic Church, which boasts 1.3 billion faithful followers worldwide.

One of Pope Francis’ prominent goals as the head of the Church has been to elevate clergy from developing nations, situated far from the Vatican, to senior positions within the Church. This aligns with his broader philosophy of promoting diversity and inclusivity. With that in mind, among the new cardinals he announced on Sunday are archbishops hailing from regions where Christianity is experiencing remarkable growth, including Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Several noteworthy appointments include the archbishops of Juba, South Sudan; Cape Town, South Africa; and Tabora, Tanzania. The list also encompasses bishops from Penang, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.

The key names Pope Francis announced as new cardinals:

  1. Italian Claudio Gugerotti, the current prefect for the Dicastery of the Eastern Churches.
  2. Argentina’s Victor Manuel Fernandez, who was chosen by the pope in July to head the powerful Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.
  3. The emeritus archbishop of Cumana, Venezuela, as a representative from Latin America.
  4. A Capuchin priest from Buenos Aires.

It is important to note that the cardinals appointed must be under the age of 80 to be eligible to participate in the vote to nominate Pope Francis’ successor.

This upcoming consistory closely follows the last one held in August 2022, in which Pope Francis appointed 20 cardinals. With these new appointments, it brings the total number of cardinals chosen by Pope Francis to around 90, out of the 132 eligible to vote for the next pope, which accounts for approximately two-thirds of the total.

Cardinals play a crucial role in the Church:

Cardinals, recognizable by the distinctive scarlet robes they wear, hold significant positions as the pope’s principal advisors and administrators.

Source: AFP

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