Pope Francis names 21 new cardinals, including prelates based in Hong Kong and Jerusalem.

by Madison Thomas
New Cardinals

On Sunday, Pope Francis revealed the selection of 21 new cardinals, with representatives from Hong Kong and Jerusalem among them, despite these regions representing a minor share of the global Catholic population. The pope’s announcement, during his routine weekly address in St. Peter’s Square, highlighted his continuing influence over the collective body of churchmen tasked with choosing his successor.

Pope Francis stated that the official ceremony to induct the newly selected cardinals will take place on September 30.

The newly appointed individuals include several prominent prelates preparing to take up or already in significant Vatican roles, such as Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez of La Plata, Argentina. The Pope recently appointed Fernandez to head the Holy See’s authoritative office, responsible for maintaining doctrinal orthodoxy and supervising the processing of accusations of clergy sexual abuse worldwide.

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The new list of cardinals also includes Hong Kong’s Bishop Stephen Sau-yan Chow and Monsignor Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Vatican’s leading official in the Middle East.

These two individuals shepherd congregations in areas of significant geopolitical concern to the Vatican.

Before announcing the names of the new cardinals, Pope Francis voiced his hope for Israeli and Palestinian authorities to engage in “direct dialogue” to cease the “cycle of violence,” alluding to recent fatal conflicts.

Historically, the Vatican and China have endured fluctuating relations, with periods of tension and improvement, primarily due to China’s assertion of its right to appoint bishops and the incarceration of priests who pledged allegiance to the pope.

Cardinals serve as the pope’s advisors on teaching and administrative matters, including the Vatican’s troubled financial affairs. However, their most critical role is participating in a secret conclave to elect the succeeding pope. Throughout his decade-long papacy, Francis has appointed several groups of new cardinals, increasingly ensuring that those voting for his successor share his values, priorities, and viewpoints.

Additional appointees donning the cardinal red will hail from diverse regions, including Cape Town, South Africa; Juba, South Sudan, which Pope Francis visited on a pilgrimage earlier this year; Penang, Malaysia; and Lodz, Poland.

Of the 21 new cardinals, 18 are under the age of 80 and would therefore be eligible to vote in a conclave.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about New Cardinals

How many new cardinals did Pope Francis appoint?

Pope Francis announced the appointment of 21 new cardinals.

Who are some of the notable appointees among the new cardinals?

Notable appointees include Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez of La Plata, Argentina, who will head the Holy See’s office for doctrinal orthodoxy and overseeing clergy sexual abuse cases, Bishop Stephen Sau-yan Chow of Hong Kong, and Monsignor Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Where are some of the new cardinals from?

The new cardinals come from a variety of places globally, including Hong Kong, Jerusalem, Cape Town, South Africa; Juba, South Sudan; Penang, Malaysia; and Lodz, Poland.

What is the role of the cardinals in the Catholic Church?

Cardinals serve as advisors to the Pope on matters of teaching and administration, including handling the Vatican’s finances. Their most significant duty is to elect the next Pope in a secret conclave.

When will the new cardinals be officially installed?

The ceremony to formally install the new cardinals will be held on September 30.

How many of the new cardinals are eligible to vote in a conclave?

Eighteen of the 21 new cardinals are under 80 years old and hence eligible to vote in a conclave.

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Peaceful_Pete July 9, 2023 - 1:02 pm

hope the new guys can help with the israel and palestine situation, sounds like the pope’s hoping for the same. fingers crossed.

JohnDoe33 July 9, 2023 - 4:17 pm

wow, the pope’s really shaking things up. bringing in new blood from all over the globe. very cool!

Faith_Overcomes July 10, 2023 - 2:30 am

praying for all the new cardinals! May God give them the wisdom to guide the church.

Carl_In_Chicago July 10, 2023 - 3:51 am

Can’t believe there’s such a diverse group of new cardinals. Gotta say, Pope Francis is doing things differently, and i kinda like it.

HistoricalEnthusiast July 10, 2023 - 4:59 am

Its interesting, the whole voting thing I mean, age is a factor huh. Would’ve thought wisdom over age would be the key.

Sarah_Loves_Travel July 10, 2023 - 5:22 am

Didn’t know there were many catholics in Hong Kong…shows what I know, lol.


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