Pope Francis announced at Sunday morning's Angelus the names of the 15 men who are to receive red hats in a consistory next month.
The new cardinals are from 13 countries including Ethiopia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand. Only two are Italian. The consistory will take place on 12 and 13 February and will examine proposals for reform of the Roman Curia.
The Holy See spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi explained that the most evident criterion was universality.
"Among the new electors, 14 different countries are represented, of which six did not previously have a cardinal, and some have never had one. If the non-electors are also counted, then 18 countries are represented. Among the electors, there are 5 from Europe, 3 from Asia, 3 from Latin America (including Mexico), 2 from Africa and 2 from Oceania. There are no new cardinals for North America (U.S.A. and Canada), since there number is already significant and has remained stable since last year. (There is a new Mexican cardinal)."
He added: "There is a significant presence of countries that have not had a cardinal (Cape Verde, Tonga, Myanmar), and of small or minority ecclesial communities. (The Bishop of Tonga is president of the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific; the diocese of Santiago of Cape Verde is one of the oldest African diocese; the diocese of Morelia in Mexico is in a region stricken by violence). It is notable that there is only one new cardinal from the Roman Curia, while currently the “Roman” cardinals constitute around a quarter of the electors. Evidently the Pope wishes to consider the Prefects of the Congregations and a few other very important institutions of the Curia, such as the Tribunal of the Signatura. It is confirmed that the Pope does not consider himself bound by the tradition of 'cardinal sees', that for historical reasons in various Countries were considered almost 'automatically' linked to the cardinalate. Instead we see various appointments of archbishops and bishops from sees that have not had a cardinal in the past. This is true of Italy, Spain and Mexico.
"With regard to the non-electors, the Pope’s brief introduction is noteworthy: “they represent many bishops who, with the same care of shepherds”, have served as the pastors of dioceses, but also in the Curia and the diplomatic service. Appointment as a cardinal may therefore be a form of recognition given symbolically to some, but acknowledging the merits of all.
"The youngest of the new cardinals is the archbishop of Tonga, Mgr Mafi (1961), who will become the youngest member of the College of Cardinals. The eldest is the emeritus of Manizales, Mgr Pimiento Rodriguez (1919)”.
The bishops and archbishops who will receive red hats are:
Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
Archbishiop Manuel José Macario do Nascimento Clemente, Patriarch of Lisbon (Portugal)
Archbishop Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, C.M., of Addis Abeba (Ethiopia)
Archbishop John Atcherley Dew of Wellington (New Zealand)
Archbishop Edoardo Menichelli of Ancona-Osimo (Italy)
Archbishop Pierre Nguyên Van Nhon of Hà Nôi (Viêt Nam)
Archbishop Alberto Suàrez Inda of Morelia (Mexico)
Archbishop Charles Maung Bo, S.D.B., of Yangon (Myanmar)
Archbishop Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij of Bangkok (Thailand)
Archbishop Francesco Montenegro of Agrigento (Italy)
Archbishop Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, S.D.B., of Montevideo (Uruguay)
Archbishop Ricardo Blázquez Pérez of Vallodolid (Spain)
Bishop José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán, O.A.R., of David (Panamá)
Bishop Arlindo Gomes Furtado, of Santiago de Cabo Verde (Archipelago of Cape Verde)
Bishop Soane Patita Paini Mafi of Tonga (Island of Tonga)
Five retired prelates have also been named cardinals. They are:
José de Jesús Pimiento Rodriguez, Archbishop Emeritus of Manizales
Archbishop Luigi De Magistris, Major Pro-Penitentiary Emeritus
Archbishop Karl-Joseph Rauber, Apostolic Nuncio
Luis Héctor Villaba, Archbishop Emeritus of Tucumán
Júlio Duarte Langa, Bishop Emeritus of Xai-Xai
Above: Ethiopian Archbishop Souraphiel. Photo: CNS