Pope opts for diversity in new cardinals
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis named 15 new cardinals Sunday, selecting them from 14 nations including farflung corners of the world such as Tonga, New Zealand, Cape Verde and Myanmar to reflect the diversity of the church and its growth in places such as Asia and Africa compared with affluent regions.
Other cardinals hail from Ethiopia, Thailand and Vietnam.
None came from the United States and only three European nations received new cardinals — Portugal, Spain and Italy. Cape Verde, Tonga and Myanmar gained cardinals for the first time.
Francis told faithful in St. Peter’s Square the new batch of cardinals “shows the inseparable tie with the church of Rome to churches in the world.”
The Argentine-born Francis, the first pontiff from Latin America, made ever clearer that he is laying out a new vision of the church’s identity, including of its hierarchy. He looked beyond traditional metropolitan areas for the “princes of the church,” who will help advise him as he goes forward with church reforms. Cardinals also elect his successor.