Pope Francis on Saturday inducted 20 cardinals from around the world, choosing men who mostly agree with his vision of a more progressive and inclusive Church and influencing their choice of his eventual successor.
Pope Francis, 85, presided at a ceremony known as a consistory, telling the new cardinals to show concern for ordinary people despite the high rank that will bring them into contact with the powerful of the earth.
The ceremony marked the eight time Pope Francis has put his stamp on the Church’s future with a new intake of cardinals who will serve as his top advisors and administrators at the Vatican and around the globe.
Those under 80 — 16 among the 20 newcomers — can enter a conclave to elect a new pope from among themselves after he dies or resigns. They come from Britain, South Korea, Spain, France, Nigeria, Brazil, India, the United States, East Timor, Italy, Ghana, Singapore, Paraguay, and Colombia.
“A Cardinal loves the Church, always with that same spiritual fire, whether dealing with great ques-tions or handling everyday problems, with the pow-erful of this world or those ordinary people who are great in God’s eyes,” Pope Francis said.
Sitting before the main altar of St. Peter’s Basil-ica, Pope Francis asked them to remember “poor families, migrant and homeless persons.”
Pope Francis, elected as pope in 2013, has now chosen 83 of the 132 cardinal electors, or about 63pc. With each consistory, Pope Francis has continued what one diplomat has called a “tilt towards Asia,” increasing the likelihood that the next pope could be from the region that is a growing economic and political powerhouse.
The 85-year-old pontiff said in an interview last month that if he does resign in the future for health reasons — instead of dying in office – he has no plans to do so anytime soon. This means he could name even more cardinals as soon as next year.—Reuters