Pope Francis has been a busy man recently. In just the last few months, the leader of the global Catholic Church has…
- played an important role in the recent improvement in U.S.-Cuban relations,
- called out his own Vatican Curia for being plagued by a “Power-Hungry” bureaucracy,
- used a Christmas speech to bring attention to those suffering around the world and to chastise those enjoying the holidays while ignoring the plight of the less fortunate,
- and has been working on an edict urging Catholics to take a stand against climate change, on both moral and scientific grounds.
This past week, Francis continued to shake things up around the Vatican by naming 20 new cardinals, selecting the new clergymen from a diverse group of churchmen from all over the world.
According to BBC…
“Pope Francis said the appointment of cardinals from 14 countries from every continent in the world showed the Vatican’s “inseparable link” with Catholic Churches around the world.”
Of the new cardinals, nine were selected from developing countries, highlighting Francis’s commitment to giving a greater voice to under-served populations.
For the first time in the history of the Church, the countries of Myanmar, Tonga and the Cape Verde Islands will be among the list of countries with Vatican representation.
Five of the bishops and archbishops are over the age of 80, making them ineligible to help elect Francis’s successor should he pass away.
According to YahooNews…
“[The Pope] looked beyond traditional metropolitan area for the “princes of the church” who will help advise him as goes forward with church reforms.”
Including this round of appointments, Pope Francis has now personally selected over a quarter of the cardinals who are allowed to vote for the next pope, strengthening the impact of his leadership and influence in the Vatican.
According to BBC…
“He wants to see an overhaul of the Church, bringing it closer to ordinary people…
Pope Francis also announced on Sunday that he would lead a meeting of all cardinals to discuss reform of the Roman Curia, the Vatican’s administrative body, on 12 and 13 February.”