This standard was followed in the latest picks for the “red hat.”
The Pope appointed 17 new cardinals. Thirteen of them are under the age of 80 and eligibleto vote in a conclave.
Out of the 13 voting cardinals, three come from the United States: Bishop Kevin Farrell, prefect of the to-be-established Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life; Archbishop Joseph Tobin of Indianapolis; and Archbishop Blaise Cupich of Chicago.
These three are the first U.S. cardinals Pope Francis has created in his papacy. With them, the U.S. could be represented by 10 cardinals in a future conclave.
Three cardinals out of 13 come from Europe: Archbishop Jozef de Kesel of Brussels; Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid; and Archbishop Mario Zenari, the Italian-born apostolic nuncio to Syria.
Africa will be represented by two new cardinals: Archbishop Dieduonné Nzapalainga of Bangui in the Central African Republic; and Archbishop Maurice Piat, of Port Louis, Mauritius, a tiny island nation east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
Another three cardinals come from the Latin America: Archbishop Sergio da Rocha of Brasilia, Brazil; Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Tlalnepantla, Mexico; and Archbishop Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo of Mérida, Venezuela.
Oceania is represented by Archbishop John Ribat of Port Moresby, New Guinea, while Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario of Dhaka, Bangladesh is the only Asian cardinal.
How does this change the composition of the College of Cardinals?
At the end of 2016, cardinals eligible to vote in a Conclave will number 120, the maximum limit set by Paul VI to elect a Pope. Out of these 120 cardinals, 44 were created by Pope Francis, 56 by Benedict XVI, and 20 by St. John Paul II.
In three consistories, Pope Francis was thus able to strongly shape the College of Cardinals according to his wish of a more universal Church from the peripheries.
A future conclave could draw 54 cardinals from Europe and 34 from the Americas, with 17 from North America, four from Central America, and 14 from South America. Another 14 cardinals could come from Asia, 15 from Africa and four from Oceania.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Pope Francis showed great attention to Oceania, whose membership increased by three new cardinals under Pope Francis. The Pope has named a cardinal from Oceania for each consistory of his pontificate.
Italy is still the most represented country, with 25 cardinals. However, the European weight in a future conclave is diminished: in 2005, there were 57 European cardinals, in 2013 there were 59, and now there are only 54.
For the first time ever, Bangladesh, Central African Republic and Papua New Guinea are represented by a cardinal.
These numbers show Pope Francis’ interest in emphasizing the role of peripheries.
When a list of cardinals is released, the order of Cardinals is also noteworthy.
For example, when Pope Francis announced the Feb. 22, 2014 Consistory, the first name on the list was Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, but the second name on the list was Lorenzo Baldisseri, General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, and not that of Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It was a signal that Pope Francis wanted to emphasize synodality rather than a curial post. This major focus on synodality rather than on a doctrinal office was then proved by the convocation of the 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family and the 2015 Synod on the same topic.