Pope Francis has appointed 20 new cardinals at the Vatican. The head of the Catholic Church personally donned the crimson cap to almost all of the new cardinals at the ceremony this afternoon in St. Peter’s Basilica. One of the new dignitaries, Richard Kuuia Baawobr from Ghana, was absent due to health problems.
With the appointments, the 85-year-old pontiff can also influence the choice of his successor: up to the age of 80, cardinals have the right to vote in a conclave when decisions are made about a new pope. Currently, 16 of the 20 new dignitaries are below that age limit. The College of Cardinals now has a total of 226 men – 132 of them are allowed to vote.
majority of all cardinals appointed by Francis
For Francis, who has been in office since March 2013, it was the eighth appointment. The cardinals he appointed are now in the majority. The others were still from his predecessors Benedict XVI. and John Paul II raised to the cardinal status. The date in the summer month of August is unusual. At the start of the week, a two-day cardinal assembly also begins. The Pope wants to talk about the new constitution of the Vatican – “Praedicate Gospel” (preach the Gospel).
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