Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Edward is the author of “The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family”, published by Ignatius Press. Follow him on Twitter @edwardpentin
Pope Francis today announced the names of 19 new cardinals (16 cardinal-electors under the age of 80 and 3 archbishops emeritii) to be formally elevated to the College of Cardinals at a consistory on Feb. 22.
Six of the new cardinal-electors come from Europe, one from Canada, and the rest from the southern hemisphere.
Here below is the Holy Father's announcement, made after the Angelus today:
"As was previously announced, on February 22, the Feast of the Chair of Peter, I will have the joy of holding a Consistory, during which I will name 16 new cardinals, who, coming from 12 countries from every part of the world, represent the deep ecclesial relationship between the Church of Rome and the other Churches throughout the world. The following day [February 23] I will preside at a solemn concelebration with the new cardinals, while on February 20 and 21 I will hold a consistory with all the cardinals to reflect on the theme of the family.
Here are the names of the new cardinals:
1. Pietro Parolin, Titular Archbishop of Acquapendente, Secretary of State
2. Lorenzo Baldisseri, Titular Archbishop of Diocleziana, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.
3. Gerhard Ludwig Műller, Archbishop-Bishop emeritus of Regensburg, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
4. Beniamino Stella, Titular Archbishop of Midila, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.
5. Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster (Great Britain).
6. Leopoldo José Brenes Solórzano, Archbishop of Managua (Nicaragua).
7. Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec (Canada).
8. Jean-Pierre Kutwa, Archbishop of Abidjan (Ivory Coast).
9. Orani João Tempesta, O.Cist., Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
10. Gualtiero Bassetti, Archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve (Italy).
11. Mario Aurelio Poli, Archbishop of Buenos Aires (Argentina).
12. Andrew Yeom Soo jung, Archbishop of Seoul (Korea).
13. Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, S.D.B., Archbishop of Santiago del Cile (Chile).
14. Philippe Nakellentuba Ouédraogo, Archbishop of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso).
15. Orlando B. Quevedo, O.M.I., Archbishop of Cotabato (Philippines).
16. Chibly Langlois, Bishop of Les Cayes (Haïti).
Together with them, I will join to the Members of the College of Cardinals three Archbishops emeriti distinguished for their service to the Holy See and to the Church. They are:
1. Loris Francesco Capovilla, Titular Archbishop of Mesembria.
2. Fernando Sebastián Aguilar, C.M.F., Archbishop emeritus of Pamplona.
3. Kelvin Edward Felix, Archbishop emeritus of Castries.
Let us pray for the new Cardinals, that vested in the virtues and the sentiments of the Lord Jesus, the Good Shepherd, they might be able to help more effectively the Bishop of Rome in his service to the universal Church."
Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi issued the following explanatory note this afternoon:
"The Pope has adhered to the rule of 120 Cardinals under 80 years of age who will be eligible to vote in a papal election. Currently there were 13 seats “vacant”; 3 others will be “vacant” by the end of May, so the Pope has chosen 16 electors.
Of the 16 eligible to vote, 4 are members of the Curia (i.e., ¼ of the total) and 12 are residential archbishops or bishops, all from different countries. The distribution of electors who are residential prelates is well distributed among the different continents: Two from Europe, two from North and Central America, three from South America, two from Africa, and two from Asia.
The choice of Cardinals of Burkina Faso and Haiti shows concern for people struck by poverty.
Two residential prelates were chosen from places not traditionally considered Cardinalatial Sees (namely, Perugia in Italy, and Cotabato on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines).
Among the Cardinals who are not electors, one should notice Archbishop Capovilla, the secretary of Pope John XXIII (who will soon be canonized during the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council).
Archbishop Capovilla, aged 98, is the oldest of the Cardinals-elect; the youngest, Bishop Langlois (55 years old)."
A few other observations can be made: as expected, the Pope has chosen a relatively large number of Latin Americans with an overall emphasis on the southern hemisphere. This reflects the changing nature of the global Church which is most populous in Latin America and growing fastest in Africa and Asia.
Furthermore, not only has Pope Francis unusually chosen no new cardinals from the United States, he's also appointed relatively few from Europe and especially few from Italy. Even the Patriarchate of Venice, historically a cardinalatial see, missed out on a red hat. The patriarchate has been historically important and headed by a number of leading prelates who went on to become Pope, including John XXIII and John Paul I. Since 2012, it's been led by Patriarch Francesco Moraglia.
Another point of interest is that the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family - also until now a cardinalatial position - was overlooked. The current president is the Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, one of the founders of the Sant'Egidio lay community, who was appointed to the role in 2012.
The further omission of Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization and Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, who has served as president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications since 2007, shows that the Pope will no longer automatically elevate heads of Pontifical Councils to the College of Cardinals, as has happened in the past. Fewer cardinals in the Roman Curia will allow the Pope to choose more widely from the Church's resident archbishops, thereby giving a more equitable distribution of cardinals from around the world.