Once again breaking from tradition, Pope Francis on Sunday announced 15 new cardinals chosen from nations far and wide, including Ethiopia, Vietnam, Mexico, Tonga, and Myanmar.
The new “princes of the church” were selected from 14 diverse countries, marking another big move for inclusion within the Catholic church; Francis declared that the churchmen come “from every continent,” according to a statement from the Vatican.
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Francis also named five churchman older than 80 – and thus not eligible to vote – for their distinguished commitment to the Vatican.
The new archbishops and bishops will join in a ceremony called Consistory Feb. 14. The Pope said from a Vatican window onlooking St. Peter’s Square that on On Feb. 12-13 he will gather all of the cardinals to “reflect on the orientations and proposals for the reform of the Roman Curia.”
Francis has made groundbreaking changes in the Vatican since his reign in March 2013, lashing out at top church officials during his annual Christmas greeting for “hypocritical” double lives, holding the first-ever conference on autism, and breaking with his predecessors several times, saying the church cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage, and the use of contraceptives.