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Features > Change of direction: Pope Francis looks to cement his radical vision for the Church

23 May 2018 | by Christopher Lamb

Change of direction: Pope Francis looks to cement his radical vision for the Church


Change of direction: Pope Francis looks to cement his radical vision for the Church

Pope Francis blesses the faithful with holy water as he celebrates Mass marking the feast of Pentecost in St Peter's on Sunday. The pope at his "Regina Coeli" announced that he will create 14 new cardinals.
Photo: CNS, Paul Haring

New cardinals

 

Naming cardinals is the closest thing a Pope has to succession planning. Last Sunday, on the Feast of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church, Francis announced 14 new cardinals. They will receive their red hats at a ceremony in the Vatican on 29 June. He has now appointed 59 of the 125 cardinals – or 47 per cent of them – who are less than 80 years old, and so entitled to vote for his successor in a future conclave. 

Pentecost was an appropriate day for Francis’ announcement; throughout his five-year papacy, when selecting “Princes of the Church” – not a phrase he is much inclined to use – he has tried to follow the spirit that “blows where it will”. His new choices mean that everything is now set for a conclave to choose his successor that could again astonish the world, as it did in 2013 with the choice of the cardinal from Buenos Aires.





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