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Pope to appoint 19 new cardinals

11 from outside Europe, 16 cardinal electors

22 February, 10:07
Pope to appoint 19 new cardinals (ANSA) - Vatican City, February 22 - Pope Francis is set to appoint 19 new cardinals at a ceremony in the Vatican Saturday - the first consistory of his papacy - topping up the elite group that will be tasked with electing his successor as leader of the Catholic Church.

The consistory starts at 11:00 local time (10:00 GMT). The new cardinals - 11 of them from outside Europe - have been touted as boosting Francis' reform drive by sharing decision-making in the Church.

The pope, elected last March after Benedict XVI's shock resignation, is urging bishops and cardinals to help him shape new policies. The inclusion of clerics from poor countries like Haiti and Burkina Faso have been seen as reflecting the Argentine pope's concern for the most needy and those left behind by global capitalism.

The red caps the cardinals receive are a symbol of their willingness to lay down their lives for the Church. Rome's bespoke religious tailors have been working overtime to kit them out.

Sixteen of the new 'princes of the Church' are under 80, making them cardinal electors eligible to enter a conclave to elect the pope's successor.

The consistory is partly seen as an attempt to reflect the Catholic Church's increasing international make-up at its highest echelons. The bulk of new priests and nuns are from South American, African and other Third World countries which are still under-represented at the top levels.

The cardinals come from 12 countries. In Europe, Spain, Italy, Germany and England are represented, including the leader of the Catholic church in England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols. Five are from Latin America and the Caribbean. With Saturday's appointments the College of Cardinals will have 218 cardinals, of whom 122 are under age 80. The cardinals have been meeting in plenary session to discuss family issues behind for the past two days.

Francis's first consistory is being held on the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, a relic kept in St. Peter's Basilica and believed to have been the throne he used.

Here is a list of the 19 new cardinals: Cardinal Electors (under 80): Archbishop Pietro Parolin (Italy) Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri (Italy) Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller (Germany) Archbishop, Beniamino Stella (Italy) Archbishop Vincent Nichols (Britain) Archbishop Leopoldo Jose Brenes Solorzano (Nicaragua) Archbishop Gerald Cyprien Lacroix (Canada) Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa (Ivory Coast) Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta (Brazil) Archbishop Gualtiero Bassetti (Italy) Archbishop Mario Aurelio Poli (Argentina) Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo Jung (South Korea) Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello (Chile) Archbishop Philippe Nakellentuba Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso) Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo (Philippines) Archbishop Chibly Langlois (Haiti) Cardinals Emeritus (over 80, with no voting rights): Monsignor Loris Francesco Capovilla (Italy) Archbishop Fernando Sebastian Aguilar (Spain) Monsignor Kelvin Edward Felix (St Lucia)