Pope names 19 new cardinals, including two from Asia

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 January, 2014, 11:42pm
UPDATED : Monday, 13 January, 2014, 11:42pm


Pope Francis named his first batch of cardinals on Sunday, choosing 19 men from around the world, including the developing nations of Haiti and Burkina Faso, in line with his belief the church must pay more attention to the poor.

But advocates for victims of sex abuse by Catholic clergy said they felt let down that Francis didn't unequivocally embrace their calls that prelates who hadn't made a clean break with past practices of covering up paedophile behaviour never be promoted.

Francis read out the 19 names to a crowd of tens of thousands in St Peter's Square. The new appointments from Asia are the Archbishop of Seoul, Yeom Soo-jung, 71, and Orlando Quevedo, the 74-year-old Archbishop of Cotabato archdiocese in the Philippines.

Sixteen of the appointees are younger than 80, meaning they would be eligible to elect the next pope, which is a cardinal's most important task, after the February 22 installation ceremony.

Since his election in March as the first pontiff from Latin America, the pope has broken tradition after tradition in terms of protocol and style at the Vatican. But in Sunday's list, Francis stuck to the church's rule of having no more than 120 cardinals eligible to elect the next pontiff.

Some appointments were expected, including that of his new secretary of state, Italian archbishop Pietro Parolin, and the German head of the Vatican's watchdog office for doctrinal orthodoxy, Gerhard Ludwig Mueller. Two others also come from the curia, as the Holy See's Rome-based bureaucracy is known.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the pope's selection of churchmen from Haiti and Burkina Faso reflects Francis' attention to the destitute as a core part of the church's mission.

Once again, the cardinal's red hat eluded Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. The Irish prelate has angered some in the Vatican by strongly criticising how the hierarchy handled the worldwide clerical sex abuse scandal.

The US-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests expressed disappointment that Francis didn't promote Martin.

Not counting the four picks from the curia who no longer represent the church in their homelands, the other new voting cardinals include two from Europe, three from North and Central America, three from South America, and two apiece from Africa and Asia.