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Pope names diverse group of 15 new cardinals

Katharine Lackey, USA TODAY - Mon, Jan 5th 2015

(Photo: Osservatore Romano, AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis nominated 15 new cardinals from 14 different nations on Sunday, appointing at least three from countries that never had a church member in the role.

Speaking to a crowd in St. Peter's Square, the pontiff named each cardinal, noting they came from every continent and "show the inseparable tie with the church of Rome to churches in the world."

Five of the cardinals are from Europe, three from Asia, three from Latin America and two each from Africa and Oceania. No new cardinals from North America were named.

The nations of Cape Verde, Tonga and Burma received their first cardinals ever, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said in a statement.

The cardinals — whose most important task is to elect the next pope when needed — will be officially installed to their posts Feb. 14.

The fact that many of the new cardinals are from developing countries is in line with Francis' attempts to overhaul the church and his belief that it should do more to help the poor.

Francis also announced a meeting with all the cardinals to be held Feb. 12-13 to discuss possible changes to the Roman Curia, the church's main bureaucracy.

Since his papacy began March 2013, Francis has focused on rooting out problems within the Curia, going so far last month as to outline a "catalog of illnesses" plaguing the church's central administration, including "spiritual Alzheimer's" and gossipy cliques.

Among the new cardinals, only one is from the Roman Curia, Lombardi said. He noted that "Roman" cardinals continue to make up about a quarter of the electors — those under the age of 80 and eligible to vote for a new pope.

"The new nominations confirm that the pope is not bound to the traditions of the 'cardinalatial sees' – which were motivated by historical reasons in different countries," Lombardi said. 


Francis also announced five retired archbishops and bishops "distinguished for their pastoral charity" to be named cardinals. Because they are older than 80, those nominees will not be eligible to vote for a new pope.



1. Monsignor Dominique Mamberti, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, Vatican City

2. Monsignor Manuel José Mácario do Nascimento Clemente, patriarch of Lisbon, Portugal

3. Monsignor Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, archbishop of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

4. Monsignor John Atcherley Dew, archbishop of Wellington, New Zealand

5. Monsignor Edoardo Menichelli, archbishop of Ancona-Osimo, Italy

6. Monsignor Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon, archbishop of Hanoi

7. Monsignor Alberto Suárez Inda, Archbishop of Morelia, Mexico

8. Monsignor Charles Maung Bo, archbishop of Rangoon, Burma

9 . Monsignor Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij, archbishop of Bangkok

10. Monsignor Francesco Montenegro, archbishop of Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

11. Monsignor Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, archbishop of Montevideo, Uruguay

12. Monsignor Ricardo Blázquez Pérez, archbishop of Valladolid, Spain

13. Monsignor José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán, bishop of David, Panama

14. Monsignor Arlindo Gomes Furtado, bishop of Santiago de Cabo Verde, Archipelago of Cape Verde

15. Monsignor Soane Patita Paini Mafi, bishop of Tonga


The following churchmen, 80 or older and thus ineligible to vote for the next pope, will also become cardinals:

1. Monsignor José de Jesús Pimiento Rodriguez, emeritus archbishop of Manizales, Colombia

2. Monsignor Luigi De Magistris, emeritus Vatican official

3. Monsignor Karl-Josef Rauber, apostolic nuncio

4. Monsignor Luis Héctor Villalba, emeritus archbishop of Tucuman, Argentina

5. Monsignor Julio Duarte Langa, emeritus archbishop of Xai-Xai, Mozambique

Contributing: The Associated Press

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