Pope Francis Names New Cardinals

New York Times

JAN. 4, 2015

VERBANIA, Italy — Pope Francis named his second group of new cardinals on Sunday, including 15 who will be eligible to elect the pope’s successor after his death or resignation. Many are from developing countries, reflecting the Roman Catholic Church’s growth in Asia and Africa.

The bishops and archbishops come from Italy, France, Portugal, Ethiopia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Mexico, Myanmar, Thailand, Uruguay, Spain, Panama, Cape Verde and Tonga, representing “every continent, to manifest the indissoluble links between the Church of Rome and the particular churches present in the world,” the pope said.

The new cardinals from Myanmar, Tonga and Cape Verde come from countries that have never been represented in the upper echelons of the church’s hierarchy, Vatican officials said. Nine come from developing countries; only one — from Wellington, New Zealand — is a native English speaker. Five are European.

“The most evident criteria is evidently that of universality,” the Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, said in a note published Sunday. “Fourteen different countries are represented, including some that do not currently have a cardinal, and some that have never had one.”

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