Pope Francis announced on Sunday that he would appoint 21 new cardinals in August, one of whom is leading the Italian Mongolian Church, and again put his stamp on the future of Catholicism.
Of the 21, 16 are under-80 chief selectors and are thus eligible to enter a conclave to select his successor upon his death or resignation.
After the ceremony of their formal inauguration on 27 August, known as a Consortium, Francis will appoint about 83 of the approximately 133 chief selectors, and his successor will be one who will reflect his position on key issues.
By then, Francis would have employed about 63% of cardinal electors, increasing their presence in the developing world, and relaxing Europe’s hold on cardinal colleges.
Among the new selectors is Archbishop Giorgio Marengo, an Italian who is currently the administrator of the Catholic Church in Mongolia. The country borders China, where the Vatican is trying to improve the situation for Catholics.
Other major selectors came from France, Nigeria, Brazil, India, the United States, East Timor, Italy, Ghana, Singapore and Paraguay. Three Vatican officials will be made cardinals in August from South Korea, Britain and Spain.
Again, Francis surpassed the archbishops of major cities that were traditionally cardinal before his election in 2013, where the church prefers to recruit men to remote places that are smaller or growing and more vibrant than Europe.
By appointing cardinals to Singapore, Mongolia, India and East Timor, Francis seems to be seeking to increase the church’s prestige and influence in Asia, a growing economic and political power.
New cardinals from other developing countries include the Archbishop of Aquilobia in Nigeria, Manaus and Brasilia in Brazil, Goa and Hyderabad in India, Wa in Ghana and Asuncion in Paraguay.
Robert McLarey, Bishop of San Diego, California, was promoted to cardinal because he was an outspoken associate of Francis’ priesthood on issues such as environmental protection and a greater welcome for gay Catholics.
In making McElroy a cardinal, Francis went over the conservative archbishops of San Francisco and Los Angeles, two large cities that have traditionally been cardinals in the past.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)