Pope Francis celebrates the First Vespers and Te Deum prayers in Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican on December 31, 2013.

Pope appoints 19 new cardinals


Pope Francis appointed 19 new cardinals of the Catholic church on Sunday–but none from the United States.

The new cardinals hail from around the globe and represent nations with high rates of poverty, such as the Philippines and Nicaragua, which reflects Francis’ hope for a “poor Church for the poor.” 

Since he was chosen last March to lead the Catholic church, Francis has made significant changes at the Vatican, rejecting the luxury vehicles of his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, and opting to live in a guest house rather than the papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace.

“I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security,” Francis wrote in his first major document as pope last November. 

In the same document, Francis also criticized rampant capitalism, and argued that trickle-down economics have increased economic inequality.

The College of Cardinals consists of over 100 individuals who are tasked with advising and assisting the pope on church matters. The cardinals also are responsible for choosing the pope’s successor should the pope die or resign. 

Sixteen of Pope Francis’ new appointees are below the age of 80, and therefore eligible to elect the next pope. The three men who are over 80 will take the title “cardinal emeritus,” and will not be allowed to participate in a papal conclave.

The new cardinals will be elevated in the church during a ceremony on Feb. 22.

Roman Catholicism

Pope appoints 19 new cardinals