Pope Francis Puts His Stamp On Church’s Future With New Cardinals

Pope Francis on July 9th reported that he would raise 21 churchmen to the high position of cardinal, again putting his imprint on the gathering that will one day pick his replacement after his passing or renunciation.

The 86-year-old Pontiff announced that the installation ceremony, known as a consistory, would take place on September 30. Since being elected as the first pontiff from Latin America ten years ago, this will be the ninth consistory called by the pope.

The new cardinals come from nations including the US, Italy, Argentina, Switzerland, South Africa, Spain, Colombia, South Sudan, Hong Kong, Poland, Malaysia, Tanzania, and Portugal. Eighteen of the 21 are under the age of 80, so they will be able to attend a secret conclave to select the next pope. They are known as cardinal balloters.

All cardinals, no matter what their age, are permitted to participate in pre-conference gatherings, known as Broad Assemblies, giving them a say in the sort of individual they figure the more youthful cardinals ought to pick.

In the Church hierarchy, Cardinals are second only to the Pope and his closest advisors. Because of their authentic power and impact, they are as yet called the sovereigns of the Congregation, despite the fact that Francis has told them not to live like sovereignty and to be near poor people.

There will be 137 cardinal electors following the consistory in September, with approximately 73% of them selected by Francis. This expands the likelihood that the next pope will share his vision of a more moderate, comprehensive Church.

Francis has likewise expanded the likelihood that the next pope will come from Asia or Africa, having reliably named cardinal balloters from those mainland and giving less significance than his predecessors to nations in Europe.

Three of the new cardinals were as of late named as heads of significant Vatican divisions, including Argentine Ecclesiastical overseer Victor Manuel Fernandez, top of the Vatican’s doctrinal division.

Bishop Stephen Chow Sau-Yan of Hong Kong was the recipient of an additional significant appointment. Chow is one of the significant connections to the Catholic Church in socialist China, where the Vatican is attempting to further develop conditions for Catholics. In April, the bishop went to Beijing.

Another is American Archbishop Robert Francis Prevost, who was recently elevated to head of the Vatican department that assists the pope in selecting new bishops, one of the most powerful positions within the Vatican.

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