Bishop of Penang among 21 new cardinals named by the Pope

ROME: Twenty-one new cardinals are to be created at a consistory to be held in the Vatican at the end of September, Pope Francis announced following the Angelus on Sunday (July 9), reported German news agency dpa.

Of the 21, 18 would be eligible to take part in a papal conclave to elect a new pope, as they are under the age of 80 - the cut-off age.

Making the announcement, Francis said: "Where they come from expresses the universality of the Church, which continues to proclaim the merciful love of God to all people of the earth."

Bishop Sebastian Francis of Penang (pic) was among the 21 new cardinals named which included Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez from Argentina, Archbishop Robert Francis Prevost, originally from the United States and Italian Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti.

Also on the list were Bishop Stephen Chriw Sau-yan of Hong Kong, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa and Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town.

The list reflects the pope's promotion of clerics from countries outside Europe. Francis himself is Argentina-born.

The consistory is to be held on September 30. - Bernama-dpa

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