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Pope Francis has appointed 20 new cardinals (Spoiler: None are Irish)

Fifteen of the new cardinals are under 80, which means they will vote for the pope’s successor.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

POPE FRANCIS HAS today named 20 new cardinals, seven of whom are from Europe.

Thirteen of the cardinals are from Africa, Asia and Latin America, which are increasingly seen as key areas as the Roman Catholic Church support shifts from its traditional European base.

Fifteen of the new cardinals are under the age of 80, meaning they will be able to join the conclave which will elect the pope’s successor.

The youngest of the cardinals is Bishop Soane Paini Mafi of Tonga, who is 53.

Making the announcement while praying the Angelus at the Vatican today, Pope Francis said the new cardinals come “from 14 countries from every continent [and] manifest the indissoluble links between the Church of Rome and the particular Churches present in the world”.

Once these new members of the College of Cardinals are officially installed next month, there will be 228 members, including 125 who can vote in conclaves.

The cardinals represent the shift in the location of the world’s Catholics, which were predominantly in Europe up until about one hundred years ago. Latin American now accounts  for 39% of the church’s followers, while 24% are in Europe and 16% are in Africa, according to a study by American think tank Pew Research Centre.

The list of newly named cardinals includes three from Africa, five from Latin America as well as a combined total of five from Asia and the Pacific.

The Pope asked people to pray for the new cardinals so that “they might support me more intensely in my apostolic service”.

The new cardinals will be appointed on 14 February.

These are the 20 new cardinals, grouped by region:


  • Archbishop Dominique Mamberti of France
  • Archbishop Francesco Montenegro of Italy
  • Archbishop Luigi De Magistris of Italy (Non-voting)
  • Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Spain
  • Archbishop Karl-Joseph Rauber of Germany (Non-voting)
  • Archbishop Edoardo Menichelli of Italy
  • Archbishop Manuel Jose Macario do Nascimento Clemente of Portugal


  • Bishop Arlindo Gomes Furtado of Cape Verde
  • Bishop emeritus Julio Duarte Langa of Mozambique (Non-voting)
  • Archbishop Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel of Ethiopia


  • Archbishop Charles Maung Bo of Myanmar
  • Archbishop John Atcherley Dew of New Zealand
  • Archbishop Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij of Thailand
  • Bishop Soane Patita Paini Mafi of Tonga
  • Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon of Hanoi

Latin America:

  • Archbishop Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet of Uruguay
  • Archbishop Alberto Suarez Inda of Mexico
  • Bishop Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan of Panama
  • Archbishop Jose de Jesus Pimiento Rodriguez of Colombia (Non-voting)
  • Archbishop emeritus Luis Hector Villaba of Argentina (Non-voting)

Additional reporting by AFP 

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