Pope names 21 new cardinals, from India, Mongolia, elsewhere

Pope Francis said Sunday he will elevate 21 churchmen to the rank of cardinal in a ceremony at the Vatican this summer.

Among the churchmen tapped by the pontiff to receive the prestigious red hat will be two prelates from India and one each from Mongolia, Ghana, Nigeria, Singapore, East Timor, Paraguay, and Brazil, in keeping with Francis’ determination to have church leaders reflect the global face of the Catholic church.

Francis read out his choices at the end of his traditional Sunday greetings to the public in St. Peter’s Square. At least 16 of the new cardinals will be younger than 80 and thus eligible to vote for the next pontiff in secret conclave.

The pope said he will conduct the consistory, as the ceremony to elevate churchmen to cardinal’s rank is known, on Aug. 27.

Other new cardinals hail from France and from San Diego, California, while three are prelates who currently hold top positions at the Vatican.

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