Pope Francis has named 20 archbishops and bishops as new cardinals.
They were selected from 14 countries across all the seven continents and would be installed at a ceremony scheduled for February 14.
The college of cardinals are the church’s most senior officials and usually ordained bishops
Fifteen of them are below 80 years, making them eligible to enter a conclave to elect the successor of the Pope.
Francis said the selection of the cardinals from all the continents shows that the Catholic church is united.
“Having the new cardinals from every continent, manifests the indissoluble links between the Church of Rome and the particular Churches present in the world,” he said in a statement released by the Vatican on Sunday.
It is the second time that Pope Francis has announced the appointment of new cardinals from a wide variety of countries.
In January 2014, he named 19 new additions, including churchmen from Haiti and Burkina Faso, which a Vatican spokesman said reflected his commitment to the poor.
He has previously said the Roman Catholic Church must strip itself of all “vanity, arrogance and pride” and humbly serve the poorest in society.
In his pre-Christmas address to cardinals, the Pope criticised the Vatican bureaucracy, complaining of “spiritual Alzheimer’s” and “the terrorism of gossip”.
He wants to see an overhaul of the church, bringing it closer to ordinary people.
|Manuel Jose Macario||Portugal|
|John Atcherley Dew||New Zealand|
|Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon||Vietnam|
|Alberto Suarez Inda||Mexico|
|Charles Maung Bo||Myanmar|
|Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij||Thailand|
|Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet||Uruguay|
|Ricardo Blazquez Perez||Spain|
|Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan||Panama|
|Arlindo Gomes Furtado||Cape Verde|
|Soane Patita Paini Mafi||Tonga|
|Jose de Jesus Pimiento Rodriguez||Colombia|
|Luigi De Magistris||Italy|
|Luis Hector Villalba||Argentina|
|Julio Duarte Langa||Mozambique|