Pope Francis names new cardinals including the first African American


Pope Francis has named 13 new Roman Catholic cardinals, including the first African-American person to hold the rank.

The list also included nine cardinals who are eligible to enter a conclave to elect the Pope’s successor after his death or resignation.

The new cardinal electors were listed in a surprise announcement, made while the Pope addressed pilgrims from his window overlooking St Peter’s Square.

They included Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington DC, who is African-American. The 13 new cardinals will be elevated to the high rank at a ceremony known as a consistory at the Vatican on November 28.

The selection of more cardinal electors increases the possibility that the next pope will be someone who will continue Pope Francis’ policies.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory greets parishioners after mass at the St Augustine Church in Washington.((AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File))

Pope Francis has now appointed about 57 per cent of cardinal electors, whose number rises to about 128 with the naming of the new cardinals.

The others were appointed by Pope Francis’s two more conservative predecessors, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II.

Church rules usually limit the number of cardinal electors to 120 but popes have bent that limit by naming more.

The nine new electors come from Italy, Africa, the United States, Rwanda, the Philippines, Chile and Brunei.

The four non-electors, who will not be allowed to enter a conclave because they are over the age of 80, are being elevated to the high rank because of their long service to the Church.

Reuters



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Sam Bell

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