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Pope Francis names 17 new cardinals from around the globe
« on: October 10, 2016, 01:15:36 AM »

Pope Francis has announced plans to appoint 17 new cardinals, adding to his potential successors. The group of cardinal nominees includes an Albanian former prisoner, moderate Americans and the papal envoy to Syria.

Pope Francis said on Sunday he would appoint a total of 17 new cardinals from around the world. Out of the latest group, 13 are under the age of 80 and are eligible to succeed the Argentine pontiff.
Cardinals, who are known as "princes of the Church," occupy the most senior position in the Roman Catholic hierarchy after the pope. They also serve as his main advisers around the world, as well as in the Vatican.
"The fact they are from 11 countries shows the universality of the church," said the pope. Five of Francis' nominees are from Europe, four from North America, two from South America, three Africans and a Pacific Ocean islander.

The new cardinals include Dieudonne Nzapalainga, the 49-year-old archbishop of the Central African Republic capital of Bangui, and the Vatican ambassador in Syira, Mario Zenari. However, Francis said Zenari will remain in his post in order to show the Church's concern for "beloved and martyred Syria."
The Central African Republic, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and Lesotho will have a cardinal for the first time.

In a rare move, 87 year-old Albanian Ernest Simoni will be promoted from parish priest to cardinal. Simoni brought Francis to tears recounting his 18 years of imprisonment under Albania's communist regime.


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