Patriarch Sako and Archbishop Coutts among the 14 new cardinals announced by Pope Francis
Pope Francis declared on Sunday that he had chosen 14 new cardinals. “I am happy to announce that on June 29, I will hold a consistory to make 14 new cardinals,” he told pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter’s Square.
“The countries of provenance express the universality of the church, which continues to announce the merciful love of God to all men on Earth,” he added. The fourteen prelates will enter the College of Cardinals formally on 29 June the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, in a consistory ceremony held in Rome.
Among the new cardinals are Louis Raphael Sako, the Baghdad-based patriarch of Babylonia of the Chaldeans; and Joseph Coutts, Archbishop of Karachi, Pakistan. The Pope has repeatedly highlighted the plight of Christians who are being persecuted and even killed for their faith in areas where Islamic fundamentalists have targeted them.
After he read the list of 11 new cardinals who are under the age of 80 and therefore would be able to vote for Francis’s successor, the pope named three others already over 80 who’ve nonetheless “distinguished themselves for their service to the Church.”
Francis has already appointed 60 cardinals since he became Pope 5 years ago. However, he is determined to make the College of Cardinals less European than it had been in centuries past. The list of new cardinals includes the Pope’s chief aide renowned for helping Rome’s poor and homeless and prelates from Africa, Asia and South America.